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The Ultimate RUROUNI KENSHIN FAQ

by

Iyouboushi

with help from

Mr. Hitokiri
Kagebu
finiteyoda
Niwashi
Karasuhebi

Revision 2.1.5
Updated: 08/20/09
[Introduction & Purpose]

In March 2004 James "Iyouboushi" decided that he should try


to create the most complete RUROUNI KENSHIN FAQ ever written.
He set out on his journey with nineteen initial questions
and answers. Wanting to get the best exposure for his
creation he decided it would be best to post it on the
[adult swim] message board.

There it continued to grow to what it is today. Several


other members have asked questions that have made it into
the official FAQ and others still have helped in answering
them. This is the fruit of their labor and it will
hopefully continue to grow.

The purpose of this FAQ is not to give away all the plot
points of the series or answer simple questions that are
answered in the series (there are a few exceptions though).
The purpose of this FAQ is to answer various other questions
that have been floating around and asked quite often, such
as "What is ’Samurai X’ and is it different?" It also
serves as information about the true history of Japan when
compared to the history of RUROUNI KENSHIN.

[How do I submit a question?]

Because we want to keep this FAQ growing, we’re accepting


questions on James’ own personal board in addition to the LJ
community. Posting them on the LJ community is guaranteed
way to get a response.

The URL to the LJ community is:


http://community.livejournal.com/rkfaq/

For other links, and the most updated version of this FAQ,
check the website at:

http://iyouboushi.netfirms.com/rk/Kenshinfaq.html

[I want to host this FAQ on my site, is this okay?]

YES! We encourage Kenshin fans to do this! We want to help


spread the FAQ across the web so that everyone has access to
it. HOWEVER, there’s just one rule that needs to really be
obeyed: DO NOT HOTLINK THE FAQ FROM IYOUBOUSHI’S SITE!! In
other words, *download* the FAQ and *upload* it to your own
site then link to it there. Why? First off, chances are it
won’t even work (Netfirms has a no "hotlinking" policy).
2.

Second off, it drains bandwidth which would make it go down


(and no one wants that). Third, it’s just better if you host
it from your own site.

Also, if you download it and host it, be sure to check back


occasionally for updated versions (nothing worse than seeing
a 6 month old FAQ when there’s a brand new version just
waiting for people to view).

If you’re unfamiliar with how to upload or would rather make


it easier on yourself, just link to the website and let
viewers come download it themselves.

Thanks.

[Table of Contents]

Due to the increasing size of this document this section has


become a part of the website rather than inside this
document. If you’re wondering how to find out which
questions were asked: use the outline feature, sometimes
known as the "Navigation Pane" (usually accessed with F5) to
navigate through the questions in this FAQ.

I’ll also restate: PLEASE DO NOT ASK QUESTIONS THAT HAVE


ALREADY BEEN ANSWERED! Repeating questions will most likely
be ignored most of the time and you’ll be told to check the
FAQ. So don’t waste your, and our, time.

[General Questions]

WHO CREATED RUROUNI KENSHIN? WHEN?

RUROUNI KENSHIN was created by Nobuhiro Watsuki. The first


tankoubon volume of the manga was published in 1994, with
the first kanzenban volume of the manga being published in
2006. It ran in Shuukan Shounen Jump previous to it being
compiled into tankoubon. The animated series began in 1996
and was shown on Thursday nights at 7:30 P.M.

In case you’re wondering: Nobuhiro Watsuki was born May 26,


1970 and has made several other mangas including: Gun Blaze
West, Busou Renkin, Rurouni: Meiji Swordsman Romantic Story
(two short stories that basically served as the RK pilot),
and Meteor Strike (a short story done for a Shounen Jump
artist competition).
3.

HOW MUCH OF KENSHIN IS THERE?

Currently there are: 28 tankoubon volumes, 22 kanzenban


volumes (both consisting of 255 chapters total) if you don’t
count the special "Yahiko no Sakabatou" one-shot story or
the special that was printed in the "Kenshin Kaden" (which
was called "Haru ni Sakura"); 95 animated episodes; a
"Memorial Box" episode; 2 specials; 1 90-minute movie titled
"Ishin Shishi no Requiem"; two OAVs consisting of 6 parts
total (the OAVs are titled "TsuiokuHen" and "SeisouHen.")
and two novels.

Of course there’s also a ton of fan-made doujinshi and


stories out there, but I don’t consider that part of the
official amount.

YOU’RE WRONG, THERE’S ONLY 94 EPISODES!

Actually, that’s not correct. There’s 95 episodes total.


There’s also a Kenshin Memorial Box episode that was
basically a summery of TsuiokuHen and the series. The 95th
episode is included on volume 22 of the English DVDs but the
Memorial Box episode is only available if you buy the
Japanese box set.

WHAT ORDER SHOULD I WATCH/READ THE SERIES?

You can read all of the manga straight through. In fact,


it’s preferred to read all of the manga BEFORE seeing the
series (this is the case with most anime, by the way);
however, if you want to jump straight into the anime, here’s
MY (Iyouboushi’s) PERSONAL OPINION on what order to watch it.
You may disagree or feel differently.

TsuiokuHen [4 parts] -> Animated Series up to episode 62 ->


Read the manga from the beginning of the Jinchuu Arc
(starting with chapter 152, found in volume 18) to the end -
> Ishin Shishi no Requiem (movie) -> SeisouHen [2 parts] ->
go back and finish up the rest of the series (which ends
with fillers) and read the rest of the manga (it’s up to you
on which you want to do first).

madpierrot of [adult swim]’s message board suggests a


different order, however.

Animated series up until episode 62 -> TsuiokuHen [4


parts] -> finish with the manga and the rest of the series.
4.

His reason? "One of the greatest points about Kenshin is


not knowing anything about his past and wondering about it
and asking questions just like all the other characters in
the show. If you know all of that before you watch it seems
like it would take half the fun out of watching the show."
The manga doesn’t reveal his past (what’s presented in
TsuiokuHen) until the end of chapter 164 in volume 19, hence
his decision to wait until mid-series before watching it.

Either way you choose, it will let you experience the most
out of the series for your first time. You’ll get to see
how Kenshin began (his origins are in TsuiokuHen), how he
meets the "Kenshin-gumi," the entire Kyoto Arc and then
you’ll read the best arc of the entire series (the Jinchuu
Arc) then top it all off with the movie and how they chose
to end the series completely (SeisouHen).

WHERE CAN I SEE THE SERIES?

As of now Rurouni Kenshin is currently NOT showing on any


channels.

In the past, the series aired on Cartoon Network’s "Toonami"


block. First on weekdays, it was soon moved to Saturday’s
at 10:30 PM EST. Keep in mind that the Cartoon Network used
to air a seriously cut show that cut entire episodes and arcs.

The only other way to see the series right now is to either
watch the DVDs or VHS tapes.

If anyone knows of another channel that is airing the


series, let me know.

WHAT IS SAMURAI X? IS IT DIFFERENT?

When the saga of RUROUNI KENSHIN was brought over, there was
a problem with the rights when two different companies tried
to dub different parts of it. The series rights were owned
by Media Blasters. The OAVs and the motion picture,
however, were brought over by ADV. Because of legal
matters, ADV had to find themselves a new name and settled
for Samurai X, naming it after Kenshin’s obvious scar. It
is not different, as they are all part of the same "saga"
and are all part of the story.

The official (original) names for the OAVs and movie (as
stated in question 2) are:

Rurouni Kenshin: TsuiokuHen (it has four parts)


5.

Rurouni Kenshin: SeisouHen (it has two parts)

Rurouni Kenshin Motion Picture: Ishin Shishi no Requiem

WHAT IS TSUIOKUHEN?

TsuiokuHen is the beginning of the saga. That is to say, it


shows Kenshin’s life when he was known as the Hitokiri
Battousai. In all practicality, it’s the animated version
of when Kenshin pulls everyone aside to talk about his past
in the Jinchuu Arc. In the manga his backstory begins at
the end of chapter 164 in volume 19. It is being sold in
the US under the titles "Samurai X: Trust," "Samurai X:
Betrayal" and "Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal - Director’s
Cut."

The animated version uses quite a different art style (more


realistic) and is EXTREMELY bloody/graphic. Why all the
blood? Two reasons. First, because it’s Kenshin’s life
during the Bakumatsu--a WAR! War is violent and brutal.
That’s just life. Second, because it’s an OAV. OAVs have
more freedom in the content side of things (they can show
graphic violence and extreme sex scenes) because they are
(usually) not going to be aired on TV so they don’t need to
worry about TV ratings and censors.

If you don’t want to see gushes of blood or men being sliced


(literally) in half, I would recommend just reading the
manga versions, as it’s nowhere near as bad.

One other fact about the OAV/backstory: it explains how


Kenshin received the X-shaped scar on his cheek. I won’t be
covering this in the FAQ because I feel it is too big of a
spoiler and just reading it without seeing it takes away the
power and emotion behind it. Please don’t ask me because I
refuse to answer. If you seriously want to know without
watching or reading, just look it up online.

As mentioned before, there’s four parts to it. Here’s the


title list for those four parts:

1. Kiru Otko ("The Man of the Slashing Sword")

2. Mayoi Neko ("The Lost Cat")

3. Yoisato Yama ("The Previous Night at the Mountain Home")

4. Juji Kizu ("The Cross-Shaped Wound")


6.

TsuiokuHen was directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi and was


released in 1999 in Japan.

WHAT IS SEISOUHEN?

SeisouHen is sort of a "thank you" OAV created for the fans.


It takes place in Meiji 11 and 26. Part 1 was released
December 19, 2001. Part 2 aired February 25, 2002. Both of
these are combined and sold on one DVD in the US under the
name "Samurai X: Reflection."

The first part is sort of a short series recap told in the


perspective of Kaoru. It also informs us that Kenshin has
gone off to China because a war is brewing. The second part
continues with the memories of Kaoru where she remembers
speaking with Enishi (the main villain of the Jinchuu Arc)
and ends the series once and for all (in a sad way, I’ll
add). There are other points that I would mention but I
consider them to be spoilers so I don’t want to.

SeisouHen was directed by Kazuhiro Furuhashi.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE DIRECTOR’S CUT AND


ORIGINAL FOR TSUIOKUHEN?

There are a few minor differences between the "Director’s


Cut" and the original cut for TsuiokuHen. The first being
that the original was released as four parts, and the DC was
released as a two hour movie. The DC also adds a few extra
scenes and tries to make it widescreen (meaning some of the
picture is cut off) even though the original was never done
that way. It also removes some of the background music.

WHAT IS THE KENSHIN KADEN?

The Kenshin Kaden is an illustrated guide to the Rurouni


Kenshin manga. It contains thousands of panels, illustrations
from the Rurouni Kenshin manga series, guides to the
characters, weapons, martial arts techniques and battles of
the manga story. A bonus full color section reprints a
special selection of color paintings, pin-up images and
"Naru ni Sakura" by Nobuhiro Watsuki.
7.

WHAT IS "YAHIKO NO SAKABATOU"?

Yahiko no Sakabatou is a 42 page (43 with the cover) "one-


shot story" that ran in combined issue 3-4 of Shuukan
Shounen Jump in 2000. It was also published in the September
2006 issue of the American Shounen Jump. Watsuki has been
quoted as saying that this is his "final" Rurouni Kenshin
installment and that he has moved onto new works.

*NOTE: This next paragraph contains a few spoilers for those


who have not read the end of the Rurouni Kenshin manga.
Please skip this and come back after you have.*

It takes place in the year Meiji 15 after Yahiko has


inherited the Sakabatou from Kenshin. Yahiko and several
others are being held hostage in a dojo by three escaped
prisoners. The story shows how Yahiko handles the situation
and how he has been shaped from Kenshin and Kaoru’s ideals.

WHAT IS "METEOR STRIKE"?

You’re probably wondering why I included this in a Kenshin


FAQ, but it’s because it appears in the final volume of
Rurouni Kenshin (volume 28) as a bonus story. Meteor Strike
is a short 31-page story from Watsuki-sensei. He has
commented on it as saying "it’s a bit different from RUROUNI
KENSHIN and I think this will be a good story to improve my
future works." It was originally done for a Shounen Jump
artist competition.

WHAT IS "NARU NI SAKURA" THAT’S FOUND IN THE "KENSHIN KADEN"?

It’s a short, six page long, full colored manga that appears
in the Kenshin Kaden. It’s basically the wrap up of the
series.

WHAT ARE THESE "NOVELS" THAT YOU MENTIONED?

Believe it or not, Rurouni Kenshin was so popular that


novels (actual novels) were created based on the series.
There were two novels. One was a completely original story
and the second was based on two sections of the series
(where Yahiko has to save Tsubame and the other is where
Kenshin has to fight Jin-e). The novels can be found in
Japanese, Chinese and English.
8.

TITLE: Rurouni Kenshin - The novel 1


contains "The Moon Up There" and "Sanosuke and the Nishiki-
e"
AUTHOR: Nobuhiro Watsuki and Kaoru Shizuka
EDITOR: Jump J Books
JAPANESE ISBN: 4-08-703051-2
ENGLISH ISBN : 1421506041
ORIGINAL RELEASE: 10/04/1996
PAGES: 236

TITLE: Rurouni Kenshin - The novel 2


contains "Yahiko’s Fight" and "Black Hat"
AUTHOR: Nobuhiro Watsuki and Kaoru Shizuka
EDITOR: Jump J Books
JAPANESE ISBN: 4-08-703063-6
ENGLISH ISBN : unreleased
ORIGINAL RELEASE: 10/03/1997
PAGES: 244

WHAT ARE ALL THE STORY ARCS?

In my eyes there are three main story arcs in the series,


not including the special Yahiko story of the Kenshin Kaden.
Here’s a list of the story arcs and the episode #s and manga
chapters. The episode #s skipped imply that they are
fillers, not part of the actual story arcs. They are:

* Tokyo Arc

TV episodes: 1 to 12, 19 to 21, 23 to 24

Manga chapters: 1 to 47

* Kyoto Arc

TV episodes: 28 to 62

Manga chapters: 48 to 151

* Jinchuu Arc (also known as the "Revenge Arc")

TV episodes: not animated, though it does make a brief (and


horribly mutilated) appearance in the SeisouHen OAV.

Manga chapters: 165 to 178


9.

There are other "arcs" that were created for the animated
series only. Remember, these are all fillers and are not
part of the manga in any way. They are:

* Shimbara Arc (also known as the "Christian Arc"), episodes


67 to 76

* Misc (Knight/Medicine and Magic episodes): episodes 76 to 94

WHAT ARE THE TITLES OF THE ENGLISH DVDS?

Here’s a list of all 22 English DVD titles and which arcs


they fall under.

[Tokyo Arc]
01. The Legendary Swordsman
02. Battle in the Moonlight
03. The Shadow Elite
04. False Prophet
05. Renegade Samurai
06. The Flames of Revolution

[Kyoto Arc]
07. Shadow of the Wolf
08. Ice Blue Eyes
09. Heart of the Sword
10. Between Life and Death
11. Faces of Evil
12. Blind Justice
13. Innocence and Experience
14. Fire Requiem

[Fillers]
15. Firefly’s Wish
16. Son of God
17. Holy War
18. Fall From Grace
19. Dreams of Youth
20. Soulless Knights
21. A Shinobi’s Love
22. End Song

WHAT ARE THESE "SPECIALS"?

The specials are episodes that are not part of the series.
They were generally aired as a review of certain things to
prepare the viewer for upcoming episodes/story arcs.
10.

There are two serious specials and one very short special (I
listed it above that you may not even consider it as a
special since it’s so short). The three are: An episode
review starring Yahiko and Kaoru as Plushies, a Hiten
Mitsurugi Ryuu Technique episode, and a very short "Oro
Moments" special.

REVIEW EPISODE:
This episode aired right before episode 45. It is considered
the funniest of the three because Kaoru and Yahiko were
hosting the episode as plushies. Included in this was a
very basic summary of Kenshin (who he was and how he came to
be in Tokyo with Kaoru & the gang); "Himura Kenshin’s
Greatest Hits" (basically him using his Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu
moves on various opponents, though it doesn’t go into detail
of how they work like the techniques special); a feature
showing Kaoru getting angry over and over (similar to the
Oro special) with Kaoru commenting "Hey, Yahiko! Are you
implying that Kenshin is more afraid of me than of them [the
villains]?" and her plushie crying in a corner. It finished
with more summary talking about the Kyoto saga and how they
lead up to episode 46. At the very end of the episode the
two plushies say that there’s more to come in the series and
that they hope you watch.

TECHNIQUES EPISODE:
Similar to the "Himura Kenshin’s Greatest Hits" from the
first special, this episode goes through every technique of
the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu and explains how it works. First
they show a clip of the anime (for example: Kenshin facing
Senkaku) leading up to where Kenshin uses a technique (in
this example he used Ryuu Shou Sen). Next they would cut
away to a black screen with the technique name written out
and begin analyzing it piece by piece. In the example with
Ryuu Shou Sen here is what it had to say:

HITEN MITSURUGI RYUU

RYUU SHOU SEN

"As the name implies*, the technique rises towards the


enemy’s throat. This is a very lethal attack. The enemy’s
falling weight combines with Kenshin’s upper-thrust and
delivers more damage than a regular attack would."

The special would then resume with another clip of another


villain and another technique. At the end there’s a preview
for the Shimbara Arc and it tells you that the first ep of
that arc will air a week from the day the special aired (and
that they hope you watch it).

* Ryuu Shou Sen literally means "Rising Dragon Flash"


11.

ORO MOMENTS:
Being only a minute long is what causes most people to think
this isn’t a special. Basically it’s about 50 seconds of
Kenshin going "ORO!" over and over again (different scenes).
Pretty funny regardless if you think it’s a special or not.

WHAT DVD ARE THE SPECIALS ON?

I hate to break it to everyone here in America, but as of


now the specials have not been translated and brought over
here. So, to answer the question, they’re not found on any
DVD. You’re out of luck. Sorry.

WILL THEY EVER ANIMATE THE JINCHUU ARC?

I seriously doubt it. A little fact time: they had


originally planned to animate it in the series (if you can
read the Japanese credits you’ll notice they credit some of
the Jinchuu characters) and Tomoe was shown in ending #6,
but since the ratings dropped after they went to making all
the fillers (in addition to losing their budget as a result
of this), they canceled it before they could. They then
animated some of it (poorly) in SeisouHen and a gut feeling
tells me that’s about as far as they’re going to go with it.
I could be wrong, however.

ARE THERE ANY KENSHIN GAMES?

Yes! There are three total. There are two for the Sony
Playstation. There’s a fighting game and an RPG. The
fighting game is titled "Rurouni Kenshin: Ishin Gekitouhen"
and the RPG is titled "Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenyaku
Romantan: Juuyuushi Inbou Hen."

The PSX fighting game is fairly basic but has ten playable
characters: Kenshin, Sanosuke, Sano as Zanza, Jin-e,
Hyottoko, Hannya, Shikijou, Aoshi, Kaoru and Saitou.
There’s also alternate outfits for the characters and the
ability to use Sano’s Zanbatou during the game.

The RPG takes place after the Kyoto Arc. It does not star
any of the main characters, but it is possible to get them
in your party to help you.

On September 14, 2006, a PS2 game titled "Rurouni Kenshin:


Enjyou! Kyoto Rinne" was released. The game takes place
during the Kyoto arc and follows the series fairly closely.
The game play is very similar to a Devil May Cry type.
12.

Playable characters include Kenshin, Sano, Saitou and Aoshi.

WHAT NOVEL DID WATSUKI REFER TO AS HIS ’BIBLE’ WHEN WRITING


RUROUNI KENSHIN?

That was "Moeyo Ken" (Burning Sword) by Shiba Ryoutarou. He


also used "Shinsengumi Keppuuroku" also by Shiba Ryoutarou.
I’m unaware right now if there is an English translation
available.

WHAT ARE THE NAMES OF THE ENGLISH DVD BOX SETS?

There’s seveal box sets that have been released in America


that contain all of the series and the OAVs. Here’s the
titles:

Premier Box set #1: Rurouni Kenshin Wandering Samurai


Premier Box set #2: Rurouni Kenshin Legend of Kyoto
Premier Box set #3: Rurouni Kenshin Meiji Era
Samurai X - OVA Collection
Samurai X - Director’s Cut Collection
Economy Box TV season 1
Economy Box TV season 2
Economy Box TV season 3

HOW ARE THE ENGLISH DVD BOX SETS SPLIT UP? (THAT IS, WHICH
EPISODES ARE IN WHICH BOX SET?)

Premier box set #1 contains episodes 01 to 28.


Premier box set #2 contains episodes 29 to 62.
Premier box set #3 contains episodes 63 to 95.
The "Samurai X" boxset contains the two OAVs.
The "Samurai X" Director’s Cut Collection contains the two
Director’s Cuts of the OAVs
The Economy box sets are the same as the premiers except the
economy box sets do not contain no custom sleeves for each
DVD and no deluxe box to hold them in.

Note: none of the boxsets contain the lost specials or the


Memorial Box episode.
13.

WHAT’S THIS I HEAR ABOUT DOUBLE SIDED COVERS FOR TSUIOKUHEN,


THE MOVIE AND SEISOUHEN?

If you are not currently aware, the non-box and black box
sets of TsuiokuHen, SeisouHen and the RK movie have
reversible covers. On one side is the "Samurai X" artwork
and on the backside of it is artwork with the original
"Rurouni Kenshin" (written in Japanese) name. If you
haven’t already seen them, I suggest checking out the
TsuiokuHen artwork for sure, as it’s beautiful.

WHAT IS THIS JAPANESE BOX SET I HEAR ABOUT?

It is a huge box set containing all of the television


episodes, both theater versions of the OAVs, and presumably
the movie. It was released on December 20, 2006. It also
comes with several art books and various extra gifts (such
as a small model of a sakabatou). The box set runs about
84,000 yen retail (some places will offer it for about
64,000 yen) including tax.

[Ordering Questions]

WHERE DO I ORDER/GET THE MANGA (ALL VERSIONS)?

If you’re looking for the original Japanese tankoubon


release, or the new kazenban (perfect) volumes, you can find
both at SASUGA JAPANESE BOOKSTORE (www.sasugabooks.com) or
AMAZON JAPAN (www.amazon.co.jp). The English versions of
the tankoubon can be found at Amazon (www.amazon.com).

WHERE DO I ORDER/GET THE SERIES/OAVS/MOVIE?

You can find them in most stores that sell anime. Online,
AMAZON.COM is still your best bet.

WHERE DO I ORDER THE NOVELS?

For the Japanese or Chinese versions you will have to import


them. Check out SASUGA JAPANESE BOOKSTORE
(www.sasugabooks.com) for one such place to order them. VIZ
Media is translating and releasing them in English to the
United States and Canada. Check your local bookstore.
14.

WHAT IS A SAKABATOU? CAN I OBTAIN ONE?

Literally, "sakabatou" translates to "reverse-blade katana"


and that’s what it is. The Sakabatou is the weapon Kenshin
uses because the blade is on the other side, making it
harder for him to kill someone. Make no mistake though, if
he wanted to, he could easily kill with the dull edge as
well (imagine a metal baseball bat being slammed into you by
Kenshin and you’ll get the picture). Yes, you CAN obtain a
real Sakabatou, however, IT’S A REAL WEAPON! It’s NOT a toy.
You can SERIOUSLY injure yourself if you’re playing around
with it (even more-so than a normal katana because the blade
is on the inside instead of out). You can buy one at
KNIGHT’s EDGE. http://www.knightsedge.com/swords/reverse-
blade-sword.htm I’ve also been informed that many anime
conventions in the US will carry and sell Sakabatou replicas
for around $30~$60.

WHERE DO I ORDER/GET THE ENGLISH BOX SETS?

You can find the (pretty expensive) box sets at AMAZON.COM


(www.amazon.com). I imagine you can find them at other
stores as well (check your local video store).

WHERE DO I ORDER/GET THE JAPANESE BOX SET?

You can find the Japanese box set for sale on Amazon Japan
(www.amazon.co.jp) for a whopping 63,000 yen (which is about
$551.23). As far as I know, this is the cheapest place to
order it from.

WHERE DO I ORDER THE GAMES?

The PSX games are long out of print, so EBAY (www.ebay.com)


is more than likely your only shot at obtaining these.
There is also another site,
http://www.toysnjoys.com/psximport_r.html, that may sell
them. Buy at your own risk.

The PS2 game, however, can be purchased via Play Asia


(www.play-asia.com) and will run about $34.90.

Please note that you will need a Japanese PSX or PS2 to run
the games.

[Music-related Questions]
15.

WHAT ARE THE OPENING/CLOSING THEMES? WHAT EPISODES ARE THEY


USED FOR?

If it’s one thing everyone knows about Kenshin, it’s that it


has some great opening and closing themes. And yes, there’s
quite a few of them, with many of them being really
addictive and just plain wonderful. If you’re curious on
what they are, who the artist is and what episodes they
aired with, look no further.

*Openings

#. Title Artist Episodes


1. Sobakasu Judy and Mary 01 - 38
2. 1/2 Kawamoto Makoto 39 - 82
3. Kimi Ni Fureru Dake De Curio 83 - 95

* Note that there is also an English version of "Sobakasu"


sung by Sandy Fox.

*Endings

#. Title Artist Episodes


1. Tactics The Yellow Monkey 01 - 12
2. Namida wa Shitteiru Suzukaze Mayo 13 - 27
3. Heart of Sword ~Yoake mae~ TM Revolution 28 - 38
4. Fourth Avenue Cafe L’Arc En Ciel 39 - 42
5. Heart of Sword ~Yoake mae~ TM Revolution 43 - 49
6. It’s Gonna Rain Bonnie Pink 50 - 66
7. 1/3 no junjouna kanjou Siam Shade 67 - 82
8. Dame! Izumi You 83 - 95

If anyone wonders, the song that is more often-than-not


associated with RK is "Heart of Sword." If you’ve ever seen
the way Toonami decided to air the credits, the music that
plays is Heart of Sword (although I’ll point out that not
only do they air the wrong song per episodes, they also air
the wrong footage in the background--all of that is from the
opening, Sobakasu).

And one last note: the opening theme to the RK movie (Ishin
Shishi no Requiem) is "Niji" performed by L’Arc~en~Ciel.

HOW MANY SOUNDTRACKS ARE THERE?

A lot. Here’s a list (hopefully complete):


16.

Rurouni Kenshin OST 1


Rurouni Kenshin OST 2
Rurouni Kenshin OST 3
Rurouni Kenshin OST 4
Rurouni Kenshin OST - The Director’s Edition
Rurouni Kenshin OST - The Brilliant Edition
Rurouni Kenshin Songs Album 1
Rurouni Kenshin Songs Album 2
Rurouni Kenshin Best Theme Collection
Rurouni Kenshin TsuiokuHen OST
Rurouni Kenshin SeisouHen OST
Rurouni Kenshin Motion Picture OST
Rurouni Kenshin Game 1 OST
Rurouni Kenshin Game 2 OST

In addition, there’s a "Rurouni Kenshin Complete CD-Box"


that contains the four TV OSTs, the two OAV OSTs, the movie
OST, the two game OSTs, an Opening&Closing theme collection,
and the two Character Songs albums.

There is also a "Premium Collection" set that contains three


CDs. The first CD contains nine tracks of openings and
closings; the second CD contains 11 tracks that are
background music; the last CD contains 10 tracks that are
from TsuiokuHen.

WHO COMPOSED THE SOUNDTRACKS?

Taku Iwasaki did the two OAVs soundtracks


Taro Iwashiro did the Movie soundtrack
Various people did the rest of the soundtracks

WHERE CAN I FIND THE LYRICS TO THE OPENING & ENDING SONGS?

Your best bet is to try a place like ANIME LYRICS


(www.animelyrics.com).

WHY WAS ’HEART OF SWORD’ USED TWICE AS AN ENDING?

I have heard two reasons. First being that it was the most
popular of the ending songs. However, I don’t think this
was the real reason. The second reason, and perhaps lesser
known, is that there were drug charges brought up against
L’Arc~en~Ciel (who did the 4th ending "Fourth Avenue Cafe").
Because of this Sony pulled their song and replaced it with
"Heart of Sword" with the 4th ending’s footage.
17.

WHAT IS THE BACKGROUND PIECE THAT PLAYS WHEN KENSHIN SAYS


HIS FAREWELLS TO KAORU BEFORE LEAVING TO KYOTO (EPISODE 31)?
I CAN’T SEEM TO FIND IT ON ANY OFFICIAL KENSHIN OST.

The song is Intermezzo Synfonica. I believe this song was


composed by Pietro Mascagni. I’m pretty sure that they were
given the right to include it in the show (episode 31) but
weren’t given the right to include it on any of the OSTs,
hence why you can’t find it on any.

WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE SONG THAT PLAYS IN EPISODE 24 WHEN


SANO FIGHTS KENSHIN?

The name of the song is "Kokoro no Hadaka" which roughly


translates to "Nakedness of the Heart." This song is on the
"Rurouni Kenshin: Character Image Song II" album. It’s not
found anywhere else (i.e. you can’t find it on any of the TV
OSTs). Another really interesting point about this song is
that it’s sung by Yuji Ueda, who voiced Sanosuke in the
original Japanese version.

WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE SONG THAT USUALLY PLAYS WHEN KENSHIN
SAVES SOMEONE IN THE TOKYO ARC?

It was rather difficult to try and phrase this question but


basically the question was what was the popular song that
plays a lot in the Tokyo Arc, usually when Kenshin ends up
saving the day? The answer is Kimi Wa Dare Wo Mamotte Iru
(acoustic version). The song can be found on the first TV OST.

HOW MANY TRACKS ARE THERE FOR THE SEISOUHEN OST?

This question came from the difference between the original


SeisouHen OST and the extended version found within the
Complete CD Box Set. The original OST contains 18 tracks
(ending with the song "Pie jesu"). The extended version
adds an additional two tracks, bringing the total to 20.
The two tracks are "You By My Side (extended version)" and
"Eternal."

DOES TSUIOKUHEN HAVE AN EXTENDED OST?

No. Unlike SeisouHen, which got an additional two tracks in


the Complete CD Box Set, the track list for TsuiokuHen is
exactly the same.
18.

WHAT ARE THE NAMES OF THE ANIMETAL KENSHIN SONGS?

Animetal, a popular metal group in Japan, produced three


songs related to the "Rurouni Kenshin" series. One is
called "Shukutei Kenzan," another is called "The
Juppongatana" and the final one is called "Towa no Mirai."
They can be found on the Best Theme Collection.

WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE SONG THAT SAYO AMAKUSA PLAYS ON THE
PIANO IN EPISODE 72?

The song is Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 in C sharp


minor--better known as the Moonlight Sonata. You won’t
find it on any of the Kenshin OSTs.

WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE SONG THAT PLAYS IN EPISODE 61 WHEN


KENSHIN WAKES AND GETS UP?

The song is the second movement of Beethoven’s Sonata No.8


in C minor--better known as Adagio Cantabile.

WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE SONG THAT PLAYS IN EPISODE 26 AFTER


SHURA SAVES KENSHIN?

"Tsuioku ~in the Past~" from the fourth television soundtrack.


Or at least that’s what it’s called on the 4th TV OST in the
"Complete CD Box Set." The part this question is referring
to doesn’t take up the entire song, it’s just part of it.

[Animated-related Questions (series, OAVs, movie)]

WAS SEISOUHEN WRITTEN BY NOBUHIRO WATSUKI?

Sadly, no. SeisouHen was written by Reiko Yoshida. If it


had been written by Watsuki there’s a good chance it
wouldn’t have ended the way it did as Watsuki has been
quoted as preferring happy endings (such as the way the
manga ends).
19.

PLOT HOLE! KENSHIN SHOULDN’T HAVE HIS SCAR IN (INSERT


FLASHBACK), RIGHT?

This has been brought up quite often now, and I want to


address it in here, hopefully without giving away too many
spoilers. But before answering the question we need to
understand that after Kenshin received his full scar he
continued to fight in the revolution, except that he was no
longer a shadow hitokiri--that role was filled by Shishio.
Also, Kenshin never fought Saitou or Okita when he was still
a shadow hitokiri, he only fought them AFTER he was no
longer in that role. This means he had his scar when he
fought Saitou for the first time. In fact, if you watch the
last bit of TsuiokuHen Saitou mentions that he had heard of
Kenshin by his description (red hair, cross-shaped scar on
his cheek) before they fight.

So now to address the flashback questions and whether or not


the scar on Kenshin’s cheek is a plot hole. There are two
types of flashbacks used in the TV series version of Kenshin.
The first is when Kenshin was still in the war, fighting to
make a better tomorrow. This type of flashback can be from
Kenshin remembering or someone else (like Jin-e or Saitou).
Regardless, they’re from the war. The second is when Hiko
is remembering Kenshin’s past, aka when Kenshin was still in
training. There are no plot holes because the war flashbacks
are always after he has received his scar. For example, the
flashbacks of Kenshin fighting Saitou take place after he
received his scar (remember, he never fought Saitou before
then).

In short answer: no, they’re not plot holes in the TV


episodes. The war flashbacks take place once Kenshin was no
longer a shadow hitokiri and thus has the full scar on his
cheek. And the Hiko flashbacks are also correct since he
doesn’t have his scar in any of them.

ARE THERE NAZIS IN KENSHIN?

No. The reason this question is asked is because Swastikas


appear on screen during one of the fillers. People
naturally assume that Swastikas = Nazis, when this is just
not true. Everyone has to understand that the symbol, the
swastika, has been in use looooooong before Hitler ever took
it and made it into an "evil" symbol. It is thought that
the first mention or use of the symbol was in the holy texts
of Hinduism. It was commonly used in Indic religions, like
Buddhisim. Its traditional meaning was "good luck" or "well
being" (literally "it is good"). So even though they are
shown in Kenshin, they don’t mean that they’re nazis.
20.

One more reason why the Swastika symbol could not represent
the Nazis in Kenshin: Kenshin takes place in the 1800’s and
the Nazis didn’t come around until the 1900’s.

One more note: Cartoon Network has basically refused to


show the episodes where swastikas have appeared. The only
way to see them is to watch the DVDs.

WHO WAS SHISHIO REFERRING TO WHEN HE TOLD SAITOU "YOU"


DURING EXPLAINING WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM AFTER THE REVOLUTION?

The question was: When Shishio was talking to Saitou after


being struck in the head with a Gatotsu, he specifically
said "you" to Saitou, referring to who knocked him out and
shot him. Was he referring to Saitou himself or the people
he worked for?

My answer is that I’m positive that Shishio was referring to


the Meiji government. Remember that by that time Saitou was
working for the government and it was the government that
burned him. He was generalizing.

WHO IS THAT MYSTERIOUS GIRL IN THE ENDING CREDITS OF


EPISODES 67-82?

Those who have seen TsuiokuHen will recognize it instantly:


it’s Tomoe, Enishi’s sister. The series was originally
going to animate the Jinchuu Arc but was waiting for Watsuki
to get further ahead in the manga. While waiting they aired
filler episodes, which caused the ratings to die and thus
killed the show.

WHAT NETWORKS HAVE SHOWN RUROUNI KENSHIN?

Japan - Fuji Television


Argentina, Mexico and The US - Cartoon Network
Brazil - Rede Globo & Cartoon Network
Russia - STS
Puerto Rico - Telemundo Puerto Rico
India - Animax
21.

WHAT ARE THE NAMES OF THE ANIME EPISODES AND WHEN DID THEY
ORIGINALLY AIR?

EP # AIR-DATE JAPANESE TITLE (translated)


01 1996-01-10 The Handsome Swordsman of Legend
02 1996-01-17 The Bratty Samurai...
Why Don’t You Become My Student?
03 1996-01-24 The Swordsman in Sorrow.
The Man That Cuts The Past
04 1996-01-31 One Word: Evil.
The Fighter Sanosuke Appears
05 1996-02-07 Sakabatou vs. Zanbatou.
At the Battle’s End!
06 1996-02-14 Visitor From The Darkness...
The Kurogasa Appears
07 1996-02-21 Fight to the Death Under the Moon...
Protect the Ones You Love!
08 1996-02-28 A New Battle! The Mysterious and
Beautiful Woman Who Jumped in Suddenly
09 1996-03-06 The Ultimate Stealth Army...
The Dreaded Oniwabanshu!
10 1996-03-13 Aoshi... The Man So Scary as to
Seem Almost Beautiful
11 1996-04-24 Farewell, the Ultimate Men!
The Clash of Light and Darkness
12 1996-05-01 The Birth of a Junior Samurai!
First Disciple, Yahiko’s Battle
13 1996-05-08 You Can Do It! Toramaru’s Dosukoi Journey
14 1996-05-15 To Save a Small Life! Challenge!
Doctor Megumi!
15 1996-05-22 The Operation Starts!
The Terrorist Group Jinputai
16 1996-06-05 Take a Pledge!
The Hidden Sword Technique,
Shiden No Tachi!
17 1996-06-12 Blast to Your Dream.
The Adventure of Marimo the Flying Bullet
18 1996-06-19 Run!
Yahiko, Bring the Sakabatou Back!
19 1996-06-26 Raijuuta’s Desire.
Vision of a
Forbidden Empire
20 1996-07-10 Shinkoryuu’s Revived!
Show of Evil,Ultimate
Killing Technique!
21 1996-07-17 The Nightmare Falls Apart!
Raijuuta’s Dream
22 1996-07-31 First Time! Crazy, Insane
Steam Engine Train Trip
23 1996-08-14 Betrayed by Sanosuke?! Greetings of Fate
24 1996-08-21 Midnight Fight!
Sanosuke vs. Kenshin Again!
25 1996-08-28 Scarlet Pirate!
22.

Tear Up Kenshin and Kaoru


26 1996-09-04 An Incarnation of Thunder Storm!
The Mysterious Nobility of the
Female Pirate Shura
27 1996-10-16 Ferocious Fighting Island! Scarlet Pirate
28 1996-10-30 Prelude to a New Threat.
The Shadow of the Wolf is Drawing Near
29 1996-11-06 The Ultimate Fatal Rival!
The Waylay of the Desperate Fangs
30 1996-11-13 Evil Monster of Revenge...
Shishio Makoto’s Plot!
31 1996-11-27 Newer Reaching Feelings...
Kenshin’s Departure
32 1996-12-04 Changing Tears to Courage!
The Path Chosen by Kamiya Kaoru
33 1996-12-11 Time to Be the Strongest Warrior!
Aoshi’s New Battle!
34 1997-01-08 The Little Thief... Makimachi Misao’s
Deceptive Looks!
35 1997-01-15 Occupied Village! Shishio’s Evil Shadow,
Ever Closer!
36 1997-01-22 After the End of the Dynasty.
First Meeting of Kenshin and Shishio
37 1997-01-29 Shock!
Sakabatou Broken...
Soujirou "The Heavenly Sword" vs.
Kenshin
38 1997-02-05 Sanosuke, The Secret of Patience...
Challenge the Hakai Priest, Anji
39 1997-02-12 The Man Who Makes Sakabatou...
Arai Shakku’s Masterpiece!
40 1997-02-19 Cold Blooded Samurai!
Battle with Juppongatana Chou!
41 1997-02-26 A Hidden Technique of Hiten
Mitsurugi Ryuu!
Reunion with Master Hiko Seijuurou!
42 1997-03-05 Alliance Agreed! The Day When
Shishio and Aoshi Unite!
43 1997-03-12 Between Life and Death!
Succession Technique, Mastered.
Ama Kakeru Ryuu no Hirameki
44 1997-03-19 Battle of Indignation, Gathering
His Strongest, Juppongatana!
**Special #1 aired in-between episodes 44 and 45**
45 1997-04-16 Blown Away! The Battleship
Rengoku, Stop Its Sails!
46 1997-04-23 Burning Rengoku! Shishio Makoto’s Fortune
47 1997-04-30 Crush! Futae No Kiwami. Pain of
Sanosuke’s Fist!
48 1997-05-14 The Focus of His Gaze, Anji’s
New Reflection
49 1997-05-28 A Wolf Sees the Shingan.
23.

Explosive Zero Gatotsu!


50 1997-06-04 Time To Keep A Promise.
Kenshin and Aoshi Battle Once Again!
51 1997-06-11 Now Is The Time To Awaken...
True and Perfect Solution
52 1997-06-18 Miracle In The Making!
The Battle at Aoiya Continues
53 1997-06-25 A Giant versus Superman!
Saving Grace at the Edge of Despair
54 1997-07-02 Hiten versus Shukuchi. Soujirou,
God’s Gift to Nature
55 1997-07-09 Tragedy in the Storm. Soujirou’s Past
56 1997-07-16 Fight To The Limit! Shun Ten Satsu
vs Ama Kakeru Ryuu No Hirameki
57 1997-08-06 Two Men Betting Their Lives on
the End of the Dynasty. Shishio
versus Kenshin, Final Battle!
58 1997-08-13 Will The Era Inherit Shishio?
Kenshin’s Most Critical Moment!
59 1997-08-20 Luck Hasn’t Run Out Yet! Warrior
Spirit Revived Again
60 1997-09-03 The One Who Permits Victory.
Shishio versus Kenshin, Last Stage!
61 1997-09-10 Remaining Juppon Gatana.
Choice of Life!
62 1997-09-17 Kyoto... Engraved Memory.
Starting With Fulfilled Feelings
63 1997-10-14 Legend of The Wishing Fireflies.
The Girl Who Waits For Her Sword Master
64 1997-10-28 Prince Yahiko’s Born?
Debut on High Society
65 1997-11-04 Find Out Missing Treasure!
Great Treasure Hunting Dog, Notaro
66 1997-11-11 Happy Kaoru!
Kenshin’s Proposal!
67 1997-11-18 Shining Legendary Sword!
Mysterious Swordmaster,
Amakusa Shougo
68 1997-11-25 A Medallion of Destiny.
Sanosuke and Sayo Meet
69 1997-12-02 The Place of Battle.
Shimabara!
Judgement Day of
Who is the Chosen
70 1997-12-09 The Impact of the Rai Ryu Sen.
Kenshin is Sentenced to the Dark!
71 1997-12-16 Kaiou’s Conspiracy.
Shougo’s Trapped!
72 1998-01-06 The Reminiscent Days...
24.

Shougo and Sayo’s Painful Past


73 1998-01-13 Evil With a Sneer!
Shouzo, Karyu’s Damaged
in the Explosion
74 1998-01-20 Sanosuke’s Tears...
Eternal Separation Between Them
75 1998-01-27 Final Holy Battle...
Crash Together Two
Ama Kakeru Ryuu No Hirameki!
76 1998-02-03 The Sea of Departure...
Hope Will Surf Over the Sadness
77 1998-02-10 Himura Dojo in Shimonoseki?
Another Battousai Appears
78 1998-02-17 The Girl Who Longs For Her Art
Student... Love Shock in
Hakone Hot Springs
79 1998-02-24 Katsu Kaishu and Kenshin...
Fated Survivors From the End
of the Edo Dynasty
80 1998-03-03 he Never Ending of Edo Dynasty...
Kaishu’s Mission of Fate
81 1998-03-10 Ben Aoi’s Trap... Ghosts of
the Edo Dynasty Haunt Kaishu!
82 1998-04-14 The Decision of Katsu Kaishu.
The Truth Beyond the Era
83 1998-04-21 Yutaro Returns.
The Ambitions of the Black Knights
Hide in the Shadows
84 1998-05-05 Sanada Ninja and the Divine Medicine.
Their Leader, Misanagi’s Goal
85 1998-05-19 A Puzzling Journey.
The Trap of Holy Crossing
Has Been Laid!
86 1998-05-26 Dancing Underground. Red Day Fly
Cutthroat! Sanada Sasshin
87 1998-06-02 Schneider’s Bet. The Collapse of
the Black Knights
88 1998-06-09 Two Other Directions.
Yahiko and Yutaro’s Eternal Promise
89 1998-06-16 To My Angel Misao...
Special Delivery from Kyoto
90 1998-06-23 Fusui’s Surprise Attack!
The Mystery of the Satanic Pentagram
91 1998-07-21 Resist the Fusui’s Magical Power.
Next Target: the Kamiya Dojo!
92 1998-08-04 Tokyo’s Under Martial Law!
Strike of the Spiral Weapon,
Ryu Myaku
93 1998-08-18 The Enemy Awaits in Senjo Gahara!
Searching for the Hisui Crest
94 1998-09-08 The Elegy of the Wind and the
Water.
Now They Make Desperate
Efforts Here!
95 Between Scarlet and Emerald
are in the Boom of the Waves
25.

[Manga-related Questions]

IN VOLUME 11, CHAPTER 85, OF VIZ’S RK TRANSLATIONS HIKO


TELLS KENSHIN: "AFTER ALL, SHISHIO MUSTN’T BE LEFT AS THE -
ONLY- HITEN MITSURUGI STUDENT." WHAT GIVES? DID VIZ MAKE A
MISTAKE OR DID THEY GET IT RIGHT AND COUNTLESS FANS GOT IT
WRONG?

It is a mistake. Shishio has never been a pupil of Hiko nor


does he know anything of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu save for "Ryuu
Shou Sen" that Kenshin used on Senkaku while he watched.

The line that is being mistranslated is "nandakanda itte


Hiten mitsurugi Ryuu no kenkaku toshite Shishio wo houtteoku
wa keni ha ikandarou."

I translated this (using the original kana/kanji in front of


me) to: "What is it? It is needless to say that as a
swordsman of Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu there is no way that I can
ignore Shishio."

I’m still learning Japanese so my translation may be a


little rough, but it should still show the difference.

I’m glad that this mistake was brought to my attention.


Kenshin fans should be up in arms about this and complain to
Viz and ask them to fix the mistake before too many people
get the wrong idea. [see website for a more detailed
explanation about this error, including the original
kana/kanji]

WHO ARE THE PUBLISHERS OF THE MANGA?

Japan - Shueisha
Canada, the US - VIZ Media
France, Spain - Glenat
Mexico - Editorial Vid
Brazil - Editora JBC
Argentina - Ivrea

WHAT IS THE KANZENBAN? IS IT DIFFERENT FROM TANKOUBON??

Manga in Japan almost always starts off running in a


magazine (such as Shounen Jump). After awhile the individual
chapters are bound together and released in volumes, called
tankoubon.
26.

Typically when a manga becomes very popular in Japan there


will be a new release of the manga, typically known as
kanzenban, or "perfect edition." These volumes are usually
printed in larger volumes that hold more chapters compared
to their tankoubon counterpart.

As for the second part of this question, yes and no. The
covers are different,the volumes themselves are larger
(meaning they hold more chapters), and some pages are
colored (tankoubon is always black and white) but the manga
itself usually doesn’t change (there’s rare instances, such
as the Dragon Ball kanzenban, where a few minor things will
change or be updated). There are 22 volumes of kanzenban as
opposed to the original 28 volumes of tankoubon.

WHAT IS VIZ BIG?

Viz Big is the English equivalent of the Kanzenban. The


only difference (aside from being in English) is the covers
are different from the Japanese release.

WHAT ARE ALL OF THE ISBN #’S FOR THE MANGA?

For this list I’m only going to include the Japanese and
American (VIZ) releases.
27.

TANKOUBON RELEASE:
VOL # JAPAN ISBN AMERICAN ISBN
01 978-4088714998 1591162203
02 978-4088715001 1591162491
03 978-4088715032 1591162505
04 978-4088715049 1591162513
05 978-4088715056 159116320X
06 978-4088715063 1591163560
07 978-4088715070 1591163579
08 978-4088715087 1591165636
09 978-4088715094 1591166691
10 978-4088715100 1591167035
11 978-4088722818 1591167094
12 978-4088722825 1591167124
13 978-4088722832 1591167132
14 978-4088722849 1591167671
15 978-4088722955 1591168104
16 978-4088722962 1591168546
17 978-4088722979 1591168767
18 978-4088722986 1591169593
19 978-4088725154 1591169275
20 978-4088725512 1421500647
21 978-4088725741 1421500825
22 978-4088726014 1421501961
23 978-4088726267 1421502763
24 978-4088726687 1421503387
25 978-4088726960 1421504073
26 978-4088727325 1421506734
27 978-4088727585 1421506742
28 978-4088727820 1421506750

KANZENBAN RELEASE:
VOL # JAPAN ISBN AMERICAN ISBN
01 978-4088741505 1421520737
02 978-4088741512 1421520745
03 978-4088741529 1421520753
04 978-4088741536 1421520761
05 978-4088741543 142152077X
06 978-4088741550 1421520788
07 978-4088741567
08 978-4088741574
09 978-4088741581
10 978-4088741598
11 978-4088741604
12 978-4088741611
13 978-4088741628
14 978-4088741635
15 978-4088741642
16 978-4088741659
17 978-4088741666
18 978-4088741673
19 978-4088741680
20 978-4088741697
21 978-4088741703
22 978-4088741710
28.

[Character-related Questions]

WHO PROVIDES THE VOICES FOR THE CHARACTERS?

This section is probably going to be a "work in progress"


much like the character translation list because of how many
there are. But nevertheless, here we go. Note that this
list reflects the SERIES, not the OAVs or the movie.

Character Name Japanese VA English VA


Himura Kenshin Suzukaze Mayo Richard Hayworth
Kamiya Kaoru Fujitani Miki Dorothy Melendrez
Myoujin Yahiko Tominaga Mina Elyse Floyd
Sagara Sanosuke Ueda Yuji Alexis Lang
Takani Megumi Mika Doi Jane Alan
Makimachi Misao Tomo Sakurai Debra Cunningham
Shinomori Aoshi Yoshito Yasuhara Terry Roberts (8-11),
Terrence Stone (33+)
Saitou Hajime Hirotaka Suzuoki Sparky Thornton
Seijurou Hiko Shuichi Ikeda Richard George
Shishio Makoto Ikeda Masanori Steven Jay Blum
Usui Ryuzanji Sho James Lyon
Soujirou Seta Noriko Hidaka Tara Jayne
Saizuchi Nishikawa Ikuo George C. Cole
Henya Takemoto Hideshi Jake Daniels
Yukuyama Anji Hara Yasuyoshi Michael McConnohie
Hannya Nojima Akio Abe Lasser
Hyottoko Iizuka Shozo John Smallberries
Beshimi Matsuno Taiki David Umansky
Udou Jin-e Ohtsuka Akio Dave Mallow
Iwanbou Yashima Norito Lex Lang
Dr. Gensai Shioya Yoku Steve Kramer

HOW OLD ARE THE CHARACTERS IN THE FIRST ARC (THE "TOKYO ARC")?

Strangely, this question is often asked because they hear


how old Kenshin is and are wondering about the rest. So
here’s the list. [Note: all names are listed in the
Japanese way--last name then first]

During the 11th year of Meiji (1878), aka when the Tokyo Arc
starts:

Himura Kenshin - 28
Kamiya Kaoru - 17
Myojin Yahiko - 10
Sagara Sanosuke - 19
Takani Megumi - 22
29.

WHAT DO THE VARIOUS NAMES IN KENSHIN MEAN?

As we all know, Japan is infamous for giving their anime


characters names that either reflect their personality or
their ambitions. Kenshin is definitely no different.
Watsuki-sensei has given all of his characters great names,
and here’s an incomplete list of the major ones. If you
notice that your favorite character is missing, it’s
probably because I am unable to translate it into anything
that makes any sense. This section will probably be updated
at a later time.

Himura Kenshin - Heart of Sword from the Red Village


(Kenshin alone stands for "Heart of Sword")
Myoujin Yahiko - Full of Virtue and Skill (surname is
’bright spirit/bright god’)
Takani Megumi - Carrying Blessing
Saitou Hajime - First Master of the Shield ("Hajime"
means beginning or first)
Yukishiro Tomoe - Hope of the Snow
Yukishiro Enishi - Luck/Reason of the Snow
Shishio Makoto - Ambition of Truth that Preaches
Hyotoko - Fireman (or perhaps "man who uses fire")
Shinsengumi - New Chosen Group
Ishin Shishi - Protectors of the New

IS "HIMURA" KENSHIN’S REAL LAST NAME?

Short answer: maybe. Here’s why. When Hiko met Kenshin and
changed his name from Shinta, he names him "Kenshin" (Heart
of Sword). There is NO mention of Himura anywhere (even
when Kenshin told Hiko his name). Kenshin mentioned that
his parents were farmers. Back in that time era, only
nobles and samurai (etc) were allowed to have surnames.
Because Kenshin’s parents were just farmers he would not
have a surname. The question lies in how he obtained one,
since he’s referred to as "Himura-san" when he was in the
Ishin Shishi and after. There’s two possibilities. One is
that he was given a surname because he was the number one
Hitokiri. The other is that by becoming a Hitokiri for the
Ishin Shishi he classified as a low-ranking Samurai and thus
earned the right to have a surname. Both are just "best
guesses."

Others believe that this idea is ridiculous and that Kenshin


had a last name even if he wasn’t allowed to use it, hence
Himura would be his real name from the very start. It is
not made clear whether or not this is the case. You can
make your own decision.
30.

WHAT’S UP WITH THAT RED KEIKOGI KENSHIN WEARS?

The reasons for Kenshin to wear the red keikogi (the top
"gi" type of clothing he wears) has been up for debate for
awhile. There’s various theories. Red has a traditional
meaning of determination (and love) but there’s other people
who feel that Kenshin wears red to remind himself of all the
murders he committed in his youth and to never kill again.
I don’t recall seeing any official statement about it from
Watsuki Nobuhiro though.

WHAT STYLE DOES KENSHIN PRACTICE? IS IT REAL?

Himura Kenshin practices Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu. Like a lot


of techniques and story used in RUROUNI KENSHIN, it is BASED
on reality. There are techniques within that style that
could have easily been used in Japan, but Hiten Mitsurugi
Ryuu is fake.

WHO OR WHAT IS ZANZA?

Zanza is Sanosuke’s "gangster" name that he went by after


the downfall of the Sekihoutai up until his first defeat
with Kenshin.

WHAT IS THAT HUGE SWORD SANO USES? DOES HE EVER USE IT AGAIN?

That sword is called a Zanbatou. Basically it was a weapon


designed to take down enemy’s horses (hence why they’re so
big and thick). Because of their weight it’s extremely
unlikely that anyone would use it as Sano does in the series.
And yes, he does use it again but only in the manga (read
the Jinchuu Arc to find out when/how/why he uses it again).

WHAT DOES THAT SYMBOL ON SANOSUKE’S JACKET MEAN?

In case you missed the meaning during the series, Sanosuke


wears the kanji for "bad" (or "evil" or "wicked" but it’s
all relatively the same) on his back.
31.

WHY DOESN’T KENSHIN SEE AOSHI WHEN PASSING HIM ON THE


STREETS OF KYOTO?

The actual question was this: In Kyoto, Misao races by


Aoshi without seeing him, while Yahiko and Kaoru miss seeing
Kenshin. Since Misao was behind Kenshin, and Y&K were behind
Aoshi, doesn’t that mean that Kenshin and Aoshi also had to
have passed each other without being aware? How could
Kenshin have missed him on the street when he can sense his
presence behind a closed door?

There is no definitive answer. My best guess, and what I


will believe unless I hear otherwise, is that Kenshin only
sensed Aoshi behind closed doors because he had trained with
Hiko and awakened some dormant skills within himself.
However, I was reminded that Kenshin was able to sense
Sano’s kenki (fighting spirit) back in episode four, so such
a skill wasn’t completely dormant. Another guess is that he
was just unable to detect him because there were so many
people on the street.

WHY DOESN’T KENSHIN FIGHT BACK WHEN SHISHIO HOLDS HIM?

The actual question was this: When Shishio has Kenshin by


the throat just before he ignites his glove, is there any
rational reason (besides the plot needed him not to) why
doesn’t Kenshin fight back? Shishio is holding him with his
right hand, which in effect blocks his own sword from
defending against the sword in Kenshin’s left hand. He’s
left himself wide open. Why does Kenshin just hang there
waiting to be killed by Shishio’s sword at his throat?

The anime drags that part out a little longer than it does
in the manga. In the manga it’s almost instantaneous (he
grabs Kenshin, Kenshin realizes it’s gunpowder then BOOM! He
doesn’t have time to really react). In the anime he grabs
Kenshin, talks, then Kenshin realizes it and then the
explosion. It’s probably done like that for dramatic effect.
I also believe that Kenshin was a bit confused or surprised,
I mean..wouldn’t you be if he grabbed you through the flames
with a sword aimed at your throat in addition to smelling
something familiar right under your nose? He didn’t have
time to react.

WHAT ILLNESS DOES KENSHIN HAVE IN SEISOUHEN?

*Note: This question is a spoiler for SeisouHen. If you


haven’t seen the OAV you might want to skip this question
until you have.*
32.

They never mention it exactly, but it looks very similar to


syphilis. By the looks of the rash on his arms he’s
currently in the second stage. In the second stage, rashes
appear on the hands or soles of the feet within three to six
weeks of initial infection. Left untreated it can develop
mental illness, blindness, neurological problems, heart
disease and death. All of these symptoms (minus heart
disease) describe Kenshin’s last hours exactly. You can
read more about it on Yahoo! health:
http://health.yahoo.com/health/encyclopedia/001327/0.html

WHY DOES THAT NINJA IN TSUIOKUHEN EAT SNOW?

In the fourth part of TsuiokuHen a ninja crams snow into his


mouth while waiting for his moment to attack Kenshin. This
baffles a lot of people but if you think about it logically
it isn’t that hard to understand. He does it to lower his
temperature. Why? Because a warm mouth in a cold environment
produces visible breath. The ninja is up against the
greatest Hitokiri to ever emerge in Japan and a ninja relies
heavily on NOT being seen. He knew that if his breath had
been seen he wouldn’t stand a chance (as if he did anyway!)
so he eats snow to lower his body temp to hide his breath.

WHY DOES KENSHIN DO ALL THE HOUSE WORK? IS KAORU JUST LAZY
OR WHAT?

Kenshin does the house work for two reasons (that I can see).
First, he wants to help Kaoru out. After all, it’s her dojo
and he’s basically staying for free. He doesn’t want to be
a freeloader. Second, anyone who has seen old Japanese
kung-fu flicks knows that doing housework like that is a
great way to keep your muscles in shape. So in other words,
he keeps himself in shape by doing that in addition to
paying Kaoru back. Great deal if you ask me.

WHICH CHARACTER WAS BASED ON A SPIDER-MAN CHARACTER?

That is Yatsume Mumyouni, who appears in the Jinchuu Arc of


the manga only. You can see his arm briefly in the last
part of TsuiokuHen if you look carefully, but they don’t
show him in full unless you read the manga. Just for fun,
Jin-E was based on another Marvel character---you guessed
it, Gambit.
33.

WHAT ARE THE STYLE NAMES AND WHO USES THEM IN THE SERIES?

This would turn out to be quite a huge list if I were to


list them all. Still, I’ll try to list the main ones that
people want to know. Also note that there is a section
later in this FAQ dedicated to the various techniques within
each style.

Name: Hiten Mitsurgui Ryuu


Users: Kenshin, Hiko, Amakusa Shougo
Notes: This style relies heavily on speed and most of the
techniques within reflect that.

Name: Kodachi Nittou Ryuu


Users: Aoshi (and presumably the man who taught Aoshi)
Notes: This style relies on tricking people. By that I mean,
it relies on fooling their senses or tricking them into
being hit. Examples of this are Jissen Kenbu (the liquid-
type flowing movement that fools the viewer into thinking
there’s more than one person), and Onmyou Hasshi (the
technique of throwing both kodachis but making it appear as
if there’s only one)

Name: Gatotsu
Users: Saitou
Notes: Just a forward strike with real power. Saitou relies
on tricking his opponent into getting close enough to use
the "Gatotsu Zeroshiki"

Name: Futae no Kiwami


Users: Sano, Anji
Notes: Anji was the first to invent this technique and thus
he’s a master of it. He can perform it with any part of his
body (scary thought). Sano isn’t too bad at it either, and
later adapts it to his own needs.

Name: Satsu Jin Ken


Users: Shishio
Notes: Fire! Fire! All of the techniques are based on
creating fire, cutting and burning the victim at the same time.

Name: Tenbu no Sai Niyoru Ken


Users: Soujirou
Notes: Soujirou only has two named attacks, Shukuchi (moving
at such a speed that he becomes invisible to the naked eye)
and Shuntensatsu (combining Battoujutsu with Shukuchi to
create an INSTANT KILL technique)

Name: Watoujutsu
Users: Enishi
Notes: This is a more Chinese-related style and the entire
purpose of it was to counter and utterly eradicate Hiten
Mitsurugi Ryuu.
34.

Name: Kamiya Kasshin Ryu


Users: Kaoru, Yahiko, Tsukayama Yutarou
Notes: Kaoru’s father created this style. Its focus is not
to kill or maim an opponent.

WHAT ARE ALL THE TECHNIQUES OF [THE VARIOUS STYLES IN]


RUROUNI KENSHIN?

Check out the last section of this FAQ for the answers you
seek.

WHAT ARE THE WEAPONS THE CHARACTERS USED NAMED?

A lot of weapons in Rurouni Kenshin are based on real


weapons. Here’s a list of what the different characters used.

Himura Kenshin - Sakabatou (reverse blade)


Sagara Sanosuke - Zanbatou
Kamiya Kaoru - Bokken (wooden sword), Shinai (bamboo
sword)
Myojin Yahiko - Shinai (bamboo sword)
Souji Okita - Kikuichimonji-norimune
Seta Soujirou - Nagasone Kotetsue, Kikuichimonji-norimune
Saitou Hajime - Katana
Shinomori Aoshi - [double] Kodachi
Makimachi Misao - Kunais
Okina - Tonfu Batons/Nunchaku-Nenji Kashiwazaki
Hannya - Iron Claws
Beshimi - poison darts
Shikijou - Iron Ball (ball & chain)
Hyottoko - Flaming breath
Shishio Makoto - Mugenjin (*brother sword to the Sakabatou)
Uonuma Usui - Jinbei/Rouchin (spear/turtle shell)
Yukyuzan Anji - knife (dagger)
Kariwa Henja - Bombs & Knives
Sawagejou Cho - Katanas of various types (he’s a sword
collector)
Honjo Kamatari - Kusari Gama (Scythe w/ball & chain)
Fuji - a freakin huge sword
Seijuro Hiko - Shirasaya/Katana
Iwambo - Metal claws
Yukishiro Enishi - Watou

HOW MANY MEN DID KENSHIN KILL IN HIS LIFETIME?

I don’t think it’s ever said how many men Kenshin has killed
total.
35.

It was mentioned that he killed a hundred people in just six


months, plus we know he killed quite a number of assassins
and more after that. We can assume it’s a lot.

After he stopped being a Hitokiri, though, he never killed


another person.

WHY DOESN’T KENSHIN GET CUT USING RYUU SHOU SEN?

The actual question reads: With Ryuu Shou Sen, the weight of
the opponent and the upward force of the sword combine to
sever the head right below the jaw. The blade is supported
by the hilt and the palm of the left hand, pressed against
the back of the blade. This would work perfectly of course,
except...with a Sakabatou. Wouldn’t Kenshin slice his left
hand off? For instance, in the manga, when he performs Ryuu
Shou Sen on Senkaku, he’s lifting several hundred pounds of
weight, and half of this weight must be distributed on his
left hand. Assuming that the inner edge of the sakabatou is
even *reasonably* sharp [which it is, it’s sharp enough to
slice a cannon ball in half -ed], his left hand should be
sliced right off. So... how does he do it??

So to answer this question... I have only one theory: it


look like he holds the blade flat. By this I mean, it’s not
the sharp or dull edge, it’s flat. If that’s the case, then
he’d be able to use that technique without slicing his hand
off or causing serious damage to his opponent.

WHAT WERE WATSUKI’S INSPIRATIONS FOR HIS CHARACTERS?

The first and foremost was the Shinsengumi. Most of the


characters are based on actual Shinsengumi members. Other
inspirations are: X-men/Marvel characters and Samurai
Spirits (known as Samurai Shodown in America).

WHY DID SANO’S FIST BREAK WHEN HE USED THE FUTAE NO KIWAMI
ON SHISHIO’S FACE?

Because Watsuki wanted to show off how strong Shishio was,


is my answer. burnfist23 of the RKFaq LJ community adds
this: "It’s most likely because of the strain he put on his
right hand. Sano had used the Futae no Kiwami a lot,
especially against Anji. The force behind that attack is
tremendous, so using it multiple times can really strain his
arm. Plus he can only use his right hand. Used repeatedly
like that can cause a lot of damage.
36.

As for Shishio, well Anji was able to take a full Futae no


Kiwami even without the Kiwami Hazushi and Shishio can
pretty much live through anything." In other words, Sano’s
hand was wounded and Shishio is just as tough as Anji, so it
didn’t work.

WHOSE TOMB DOES KENSHIN VISIT IN EPISODE 62?

It’s Tomoe’s tomb. The proof is in the manga. Kenshin and


Tomoe’s father both visit the tomb. The old man even says
that he’s going to Kyoto to visit his daughter’s tomb (see
chapter 225). Later, in chapter 251, we realize that the old
man had, indeed, visited the tomb (he placed her hair pins
at the grave). Kenshin also says his goodbye to her in this
chapter, in front of her gave (along with Kaoru, who thanks
her).

I can’t recall if they ever showed Tomoe’s body being burned.


If they didn’t, it’s possible they moved her body to the
grave before he burned the hut. If they did, well, then it’s
an empty tomb set up just for remembrances. In any case, it
is her’s.

[Word or Phrase Questions]

ORO? WHAT THE HECK?

Oro is a word that was created as a way for Kenshin to show


confusion and surprise. It is similar to the word "ara"
which means the same thing. In English it would be
translated closely to "huh?" or just a sound of surprise
("eh?" "ah!" that sort of thing).

Kagebu adds the following: Watsuki derived it from a


comedian at the time named Shimura Kens (whose name in
romanji also seems to have maybe had an influence in
Watsuki-sensei’s creating Kenshin’s name). Shimura Ken’s
catchphrase was his "oro", but seeing as how I can’t find
anything about him other than his name, I don’t know in what
way this catchphrase was used. In any case, he was a
relatively well-known comedian.

In addition, it seems the word "oro" means "gold" in several


other languages.
37.

WHAT DOES "RUROUNI" MEAN? IT’S NOT IN ANY DICTIONARY!

Once again, this word is the sole creation of Watsuki.


Basically he took two words and combined them together:
’ronin’ which means ’masterless samurai’ and ’ru’ which
means to ’float or wander.’ Put together it basically
implies a "wandering swordsman."

WHAT DOES "AKU. SOKU. ZAN." MEAN?

Translated, the phrase "Aku. Soku. Zan." simply means "kill


evil instantly" or perhaps "if you see corruption or evil,
slay (kill) it instantly." This is the code that Saitou
lived by. There is a debate whether Watsuki-sensei invented
this himself or if the true Shinsengumi followed this motto
in their everyday lives.

ARE THE KANJI FOR ’AKU’ DIFFERENT FOR SANO’S JACKET AND
SAITOU’S "AKU. SOKU. ZAN." ?

No. They are the same Kanji, only the way they drew it for
Saitou’s whole "aku. soku. zan." spiel is drawn more
loosely/sloppy. It gives it an appearance that it’s a
different symbol, but if you actually compare them you will
see that they are one and the same.

WHAT IS THAT SAYING KENSHIN (AND HIKO) SAY?

You’ll hear Kenshin say this in episode 1 (and again in


various flashback forms) and Hiko reminds Kenshin of it
later in the series. Here it is.

Ken wa kyouki. Kenjutsu wa satsujin-jutsu. Donna kireigotoya


odaimoku wo kuchi ni shite mo, sore ga shinjitsu.

Translated, it means: A sword is a weapon for killing.


Kenjutsu is the art of killing. Whatever kinds of pretty
words or titles you use, that is the only truth.

WHAT DOES "HITOKIRI" MEAN?

Roughly translated it means "assassin." The dub, however,


translated it as "manslayer." A literal translation is
"people slayer."
38.

WHAT DOES "BATTOUSAI" MEAN?

Battousai is a special nickname given to Kenshin because he


was a master of the Battoujutsu (partly because of the Hiten
Mitsurugi Ryuu style he learned). Broken down, "Battou"
means simply "to draw one’s sword, especially in the case of
battle." "Sai" however is a little trickier to understand.
In this case, however, the kanji is used as a nickname or
could be translated as "lord" or "master."

WHAT DOES THE WORD "SESSHA" MEAN?

The word Sessha is another way of saying "I" however the way
Kenshin uses it is sort of saying "I, who am not worthy."
It’s a super formal version of the word and lowers yourself
in comparison to everyone else. This is one way that
Watsuki-sensei helped to show the difference between the
Rurouni and Hitokiri. The Hitokiri side of Kenshin would
never use that word.

Note that because there really isn’t an English equivalent,


a lot of companies and fans have translated the word as
"this one." While I suppose this is one way of doing it, I
don’t feel that this is conveying the same meaning and just
sounds odd in conversation.

WHAT DOES THE PHRASE "DE GOAZARU NA" MEAN?

If you listen to the Japanese version of RUROUNI KENSHIN you


will hear Kenshin often say the phrase "de gozaru" at the
end of his lines. "Gozaru" is a way to end a sentence and
is another way of saying "-da/-desu/-de aru" and means "to
be." Translating it into English is a little tricky and
makes the sentence sound kind of..well..funky. The dub
decided to go with "that it/he/she/they is/are." You’ll
hear Kenshin say "that it is" a lot during the dub and it
sounds out of place (and sometimes annoying). But the
original intent of having Kenshin say this at the end of his
lines is to help show the difference between Rurouni and the
Hitokiri. The Hitokiri side of Kenshin would never use any
form of "gozaru."
39.

WHAT IS THAT GIANT SYMBOL (KANJI) THAT IS BURNING TOWARDS


THE END OF THE 4TH PART OF TSUIOKUHEN?

The kanji in question is the kanji that means "Dai". Every


August in Kyoto, there are several symbols lit on the side
of a mountain to send the spirits of the dead back to the
afterlife. The first is the Chinese character dai, which
means ’great’ and symbolizes the universe. This is followed
by the characters myo, ’mystic’, or ’miracle’ and ho,
’doctrine’ or ’law’. The ceremony ends with a fire in the
shape of a ship (symbolizing the boats bearing the souls of
the dead to the shores of the otherworld) and then one in
the shape of a torii (a Shinto archway).

WHAT IS WRITTEN ON HOJI’S JAIL CELL IN EP 61?

In the manga he has written the following:

"With no regrets for this world, I go to join Lord Shishio


in hell."

I’m going to go ahead and assume that it’s the same in both
anime and manga.

WHAT ARE THE NINE TYPES OF CUTS IN KENJUTSU THAT HIKO NAMES?

Hiko gives a review to Kenshin about the basic cuts in


Kenjutsu. These are it:

Karatake - downward stroke to the head


Kesagiri - slantwise downward stroke to the left shoulder
Sakagesa - slantwise downward stroke to the right shoulder
Hidari Nagi - stroke to the left arm
Migi Nagi - stroke to the right arm
Hidari Kiriage - stroke to the left wrist
Migi Kiriage - stroke to the right wrist
Sakakaze - upward stroke between the legs
Tsuiki - stroke that pierces at the shortest range to the
chest

[Character-related Info]
40.

THE MAKINGS OF HIMURA KENSHIN

"The original model was supposed to be the Hitokiri Kawakami


Gensai, but now they re completely different . . . (oh well.)
Kawakami Gensai, one of the four great Hitokiris of the
Bakumatsu, could be mistaken for a girl at first glance, but
his nature was the complete opposite of his appearance: he
was a cold, calculating man said to be the most terrible of
the four. He was famous for cutting down Kuma Shouzan in
broad daylight with his unique, lightning-fast Furanui style
of kenjutsu. Whether he was responsible for other
assassinations is still a mystery. After the new era was
brought in, his ideas about isolationism conflicted with
that of the government s, and he was tried on false charges
and executed in the fourth year of the Meiji era (1871). But
after looking into it, I think the Hitokiri’s inflexibility
was not meaningless, but his honor for the comrades he
fought and killed with and the enemies he killed. This
thought led to the Kenshin character. From others in the
Shinsengumi, I also took the selflessness of Okita Soushi of
the Shinsengumi, and the mystery of Saitou Hajime.

Other than this, I didn t have any particular design for the
character. The hero of my debut story was a tall handsome
man with black hair and armor, so I tried to draw the exact
opposite and ended up with a girl (laughs). In desperation,
I added a cross-shaped scar on his left cheek . However,
that scar actually became a key point in the transformation
of Battousai to Kenshin (or so it seems)."

Hitokiri Kawakami Gensai Past

Komori Genjiro, he changed his name into Kawakami


Gensai(Hitokiri-Gensa). He changed his name further into
Takada Genbe.

He was short, his jaw and cheekbone was sharp. He was always
calm and he was unyielding. And, he was very gentle.

Though He was born in Komori Family in Kumamoto, he became a


foster-child of Kawakami Family, and became a Buddhist
priest. (When there was a big earthquake and all people were
running away, he extinguished the fire of a brazier, and he
was accepted by many people. It was said that it was
regrettable that He’s a Buddhist. Buddhist priest’s position
was convenient to study.

Then, a study of the soldier was learned by Miyabe Teizo,


and literature and swordsmanship were learned by Todoroki
Muhe. He didn’t get the permission of his clan though he
tried to do overseas inspection to know the circumstance of
foreign countries.
41.

If a foreign circumstance can’t be known, he thought that he


should exile a foreigner from Japan, and he recommended the
thought of "Sonno-jyoi(Reverence for the Emperor and
expulsion of the foreigner)".

Then, he fought to overthrow the shogunate together with


"shishi of kinno" which his mind was suitable for. Though he
killed many people, a clear record about his assassination
does not exist. (The incident that a Sakuma Syouzan was
assassinated at midday is famous.) Then, many battles were
finished, and He succeeded in overthrowing the shogunate
admirably. However, he became bothering existence for new
government because his thought wasn’t changed after the
Restoration.(The government completely changed a policy
suddenly.) Then, he was killed by the follower of "Kido
Takayoshi" who was gensai’s company. At this time, he didn’t
have the crime which was worth the death penalty.

Who is Himura Kenshin

One hundred and forty years ago, in the whirlpool of Kyoto


violence that began with Perry s landing in Japan, there was
a warrior called Hitokiri Battousai. This man, who paved the
way for the new Meiji era with these bloody battles,
disappeared at the conclusion of the bloodshed. With the
passage of time he became a legend, known simply as "the
strongest."

Age 28. He has red hair gathered in a ponytail and a scar


like a cross on his left cheek which is how people can tell
he is the infamous "Hitokiri Battousai" (roughly translates
to something like "Assassin who is a master of [the art of]
sword drawing"). He got this name during the upheaval before
the Meiji Restoration, when his fighting skills were
unsurpassed. What his reputation as Battousai doesn’t
include is his very short height and slightly feminine
voice, which often makes his opponents underestimate him.
After the start of Meiji in the 1800s, he gave up his
assassin ways and became a "rurouni" or wanderer, helping
people to atone for all the people he had killed. He carries
a "sakabatou" (a sword with the blade reversed so he cannot
kill his opponents, only knock them unconscious) because he
has vowed to himself never to kill again and uses the sword
technique called "Hiten Mitsuryugi Ryuu"("Strike of the
Flying Dragon").

He is often chased by police for carrying a sword, were


outlawed during the Meiji. Kenshin has a very gentle and
polite nature (referring to himself as "sessha" which
roughly means "this clumsy person", and using the polite
verb "gozaru" at the end of his sentences) with a strong
sense of right and wrong. One of his common sayings is "Oro"
a version of "Ara".
42.

However, this nature could be a mask for his violent


hitokiri nature which seems to resurface whenever he is
faced with a tough opponent or other extreme circumstances.
In these instances he seems almost superhuman in his
fighting ability, almost as if he were a different person,
and also reverts to regular casual speech, using "ore"
instead of "sessha" is one of the ways Kaoru realized
Kenshin was not his normal easygoing self during the fight
with Jin-e. I think his struggling to deal with his hitokiri
nature makes him the most interesting character of the
series which I guess is why I am writing so much about him
in this description.

source info sites

http://www.maigo-chan.org/rk1_01.htm,
http://vegetrunks10.tripod.com/dr gonball-af/id61.html

SOUJI OKITA

Captain of the First Unit of the Shinsengumi)

Nickname-Soushi, Mibu Wolf

Born-1842

Style of Kenjutsu-Tennen Rishin Ryu

Background:

Probably the best-known and popular Shinsengumi figure.


Another handsome total knockout, besides being a child
prodigy at kenjutsu - he joined Kondou’s dojo at 9, and was
an accomplished swordsman at 15 or so. Former name Soujirou,
(yes, it’s true!) the sword he used is the one used by
Soujirou in his last battle with Kenshin, the Kikuichi
Norimune, length 2’4"2.

Strongest swordsman in the Shinsengumi, he yields a katana,


bokken and shinai equally well. Famous for his "3-piece
thrust" - 3 thrusts delivered so quickly at the opponent,
usually at the neck and the right and left shoulders. Like
Saito, this technique was improvised from the one invented
by Hijikata.

Tragedy struck, though, for Okita contracted Tuberculosis,


an incurable disease in those times, shortly after the
formation of the Shinsengumi. He coughed up blood several
times, though he would not let the others know.
43.

During the Ikeda-ya affair, however, his situation suddenly


spiraled down (perhaps because of the cold night and the
vicious battle), and fainted after he coughed up a shocking
amount of blood. It was then that Kondou and Hijikata knew
of his disease, and even by then the doctor had already
predicted that he would not live long. Both were distressed
over this, for they were like elder brothers to Okita (did I
mention that Kondou was 10 years Okita’s senior, and
Hijikata 9?). However, all 3 agreed that news of Okita’s
disease should not be widely known, lest it dragged down the
members’ morale.

After the Boshin war, Okita went into a tuberculosis


hospital in Edo. He passed away on 30/5/1868, First year of
Meiji, aged 25.

THE MAKINGS OF SHINOMORI AOSHI

"Even when I wrote the paragraph about Beshimi, I was just


adding the Oniwabanshuu impromptu to the story, and although
I was glad that Aoshi would appear, I was in trouble because
I had no idea what he looked. But, as models for the
Oniwabanshuu, my beloved Shinsengumi came to mind, and Aoshi
naturally grew out of the Shinsengumi s Hijikata Toshizou.
But, there are two ways that Hijikata is portrayed in books
and novels (if you re a fan of the Shinsengumi I think
you ll understand.)

One is the way he is represented in "Burning Sword:"


Hijikata with great combat instincts who fought until death
(this is the Hijikata I m a fan of.) But the Hijikata who
killed his gentler feelings, who played the role of a demon
and cried within his heart, who buried his human weakness,
is the Hijikata that Aoshi is based on. How Aoshi, like
Hijikata, fought until death we won t give away here, but it
won t be long until he reappears.

Other than this model, I didn t have any particular design,


but used one from my sketchbook. However as time went on,
the image of Hijikata became looser, his bangs got longer,
more in the modern style. I tried to go back and fix it, but
it would have made you laugh (hey!) so I left it how it was.
The coat I took from that popular American comic . . . (
Some Believe The Punisher is the origin for the coat.)"

Hijikata Toshizou Past

Ok i had to cut his past by quite a bit if you want the full
story check here. http://www.chthonian.net/Aoshi/hijikata.html

1835-1869
44.

Vice-Captain of the Shinsengumi

died from a gunshot wound in 1869 at the age of 34

memorial gravestone stands near Itabashi Station in Tokyo,


next to that of Kondo Isami, the head of the Shinsengumi

Sword: Izuminokami Kanesada (2’8") ( in novels, it’s


apparently called ’Nosada’ which is technically incorrect. )

Hijikata Toshizou started his career at the Shieikan dojo


near Edo (Tokyo), learning the Tennen Rishin Ryuu (along
with Okita Souji) from Kondo Shusuke ( Kono Isami’s adoptive
father? ). When they heard in 1863 that masterless samurai (
roshi ) were being enlisted under Bakufu samurai to fight
against the shishi, thirteen of them went to Kyoto, passed
their entrance exams ^^ (basically a kenjutsu skills test )
and were appointed "Defenders of Kyoto" by Matsudaira
Katamori, the Daimyo of Aizu.

" In the beginning, the Shinsengumi was called the


Roushigumi, and its leader was Kiyokawa Hachirou. And it was
THIS guy who wanted his Roushigumi to become Ishin Shishi.
However, a group of 13 people, led by Serizawa Kamo and
Kondo Isami disagreed with Kiyokawa and parted ways with
him, forming thus the Shinsengumi. " The Shinsengumi that we
all think of when we hear the name was was formed by those
13 roshi. They gathered initially at the village of Mibu, so
the Mibu-roshi became the "Miburo." ^.-

Hijikata was initially one of the vice-captains under three


joint captains: Kondo, Serizawa Kamo ( the model for Shishio
^^ ) and Niimi Nishiki. But Serizawa and Niimi basically
were abusing their status as protectors of Kyoto and
basically tarnishing the reputation of the entire Shinsengumi.
( fighting, drinking, whoring, extortion, the works. ;;^^ )
Hijikata investigated and found enough evidence to convict
Niimi, and ordered him to commit seppuku. Then Serizawa and
his rowdy followers were assassinated by a group of people
including Okita, and Kondo became the sole Captain, with
Hijikata as his vice-captain.

They held to that strict moral code Saitou keeps harping


about in RK from then on. ^^ Hijikata was especially feared
as "the demon of the Shinsengumi" because he was so
merciless when it came to enforcing the law.( If you were
just walking the streets of Kyoto, and you were stopped and
couldn’t produce sufficient ID...you were DEAD. Instantly. )

Hijikata was also completely merciless when it came to


desertion or traitors. Seppuku was the only option given to
them.
45.

When one of the founding members of the Shinsengumi ( and


his old friend!! ) Yamanami Keisuke tried to escape from the
Shinsengumi in 1865, Hijikata ordered Okita to bring him
back and then forced Yamanami to commit seppuku. ( and it
was his old friend, too...)

Okashira Shinomori Aoshi The Charcter:

Full Name: Aoshi Shinomori


Age: 26
Height: 189 cm
Weight: 72 kg
Date of birth: January 1853
Zodiac sign: Aquarius
Place of birth: Kyoto
Blood Type:
Family: None living. Raised by the Oniwabanshu
Weapon: two kodachi (a short sword), kenpo
Skills -
First Appearance: Episode 8 (anime); Tankoubon 3 (manga)
Traits: Serious and unsmiling but calm and cool under
pressure,, Aoshi was proclaimed a genius and a prodigy and
was made commander of the Oniwabanshu at age 15. With the
end of the Bakumatsu, there was no longer any need for their
services, so Aoshi and the remaining Oniwabanshu set out to
try their luck in the world, ending up as bodyguards for
Takeda Kanryu.

SITES FOR SORCE INFORMATION


http://www.geocities.com/jefcat99/Aoshi.html
http://www.maigo-chan.org/rk4_30.htm

THE MAKINGS OF SAGARA SANOSUKE

"If you’re a fan of the Shinsengumi, you guessed it at a


glance. The model for Sanosuke is the captain of the tenth
unit of the Shinsengumi, Harada Sanosuke. He was known as
one of the five most handsome men of the Shinsengumi
(although, according to my bible, ’Burning Sword’, [a novel
by Shiba Ryoutarou] he was sort of fat . . .) and a spear-
wielder of great strength. He loved to fight, was present at
every battlefield where the destiny of the Shinsengumi was
decided, and had a rough, stormy temper. But, perhaps
because of his humble origins, he had his softer side. He
thought a great deal of his unit and took care of those
beneath him. Judging his likes and dislikes, he seems like
the older brother type from a boy’s magazine. He is said to
have died on the battlefield of the Ueno War, but there’s
even a legend about him, telling how he survived to become a
bandit chief. Looking from the eyes of the people of the
time, he must have been a very romantic figure. Of course, I
liked him too, and put him in RuroKen as Sanosuke.
46.

"I’m extremely happy Sano has become so popular, but


recently he’s also become the Most Likely Character to Have
His Name Misspelled. I’ve seen all kinds of different kanji
for ’Sanosuke.’ I even saw ’Sasuke,’ and wanted to say,
’Hey, hey, he’s not a ninja!’ but by now I’ve kind of given up.

"When I did the design, as you know, I didn’t have a certain


popular character in mind. Maybe it’s because of the hair,
but everyone keeps saying so (I love the manga, but . . .)
My model for Sano was the main character, Lamp, from
’Arabian Lamp Lamp.’ During my assistant days, I was
doodling in my sketch book and drew my own Japanese-style
Lamp. I changed it around a little, and it became the real
Sano. (I got the artist’s permission, just in case.)"

Harada Sanosuke’s Past

According to Watsuki and the historical novels, he’s almost


the same as Sagara Sanosuke. Liked to brawl, short-tempered
and simply loved a fight. His favourite weapon was the spear.
According to Watsuki, before he joined Kondou, Harada was
the servant of some bushis, and this lowly status caused him
to have a weak side at times. However, he really took care
of those under him. (Really manly...) He was also a man who
didn’t like to fuss, and did things the way he saw it. One
interesting point here: the members of the Shinsengumi
frequented the brothels (hey they *were* humans with
biological needs too! Just that Serizawa was carrying it way
too far) but they seldom attached themselves to the girls,
to take them as their legal wives. Harada married his girl,
however - something surprising considering his personality,
for in those days, you had the choice of *not* marrying a
girl even if you’d slept with her.

After he broke up with the others following the Shinsengumi


defeat in the Bushin War, he joined the Shogitai, the same
troop in which Yahiko’s late father also took part. Harada
died in the Ueno War. According to other sources, however,
he survived the war and stowed-away to Manchuria, China,
where he became a bandit.

Sagara Sanosuke The Character

AGE 19

Sanosuke used to follow a group called the Sekihoutai; this


was a group of swordsmen who acted as a militia during the
battle to westernize Japan. They were used as "a voice of
the government.", but held no official rank. The Sekihoutai
were setup by the Ishin govt. which Kenshin was a part of.
They were executed for spreading false information, "which
the Ishin government.
47.

told them to spread", promises were made that could not be


kept in order to insure that the people didn’t lose faith in
the Ishin - the Sekihoutai took the blame and were executed.
Sanosuke could not forgive the Ishin for what they had done;
he became a gangster - building his strength and breaking
the laws of a government. that killed his master and framed
him as a traitor. He later does battle with Kenshin, placing
all of the blame on him. Kenshin finally manages to get him
to understand that he has lived a life of destruction and is
dishonoring the memory of his former master - taking away
hope from innocent people for his revenge. Sanosuke joins
the others to protect others and to right the wrong he has
done. He still has a rebellious streak in him and holds a
grudge against the new government.

He continues to wear the "BAD" symbol on his back to remind


him of where he came from - he is stubborn and jumps into
things with little thought, but his extraordinary strength
and stamina make up for his lack of caution. He sticks to
Kenshin like glue and gets really pissed if Kenshin leaves
him out of a fight.

THE MAKINGS OF SAITOU HAJIME

"There was no model; Saitou Hajime was a real person. But


unlike Sagara Souzou and Yamagata Aritomo, he has a deep
influence on the story, so I adapted him quite a bit. I
adapted him so much that I received letters in protest from
fans of the Shinsengumi. (I ve received protest letters
before but Saitou’s gotten the most so far.) Saitou just
seems to get more and more popular, though, so I m really
happy. The character Saitou is still part of the story, so
I ll keep quiet about the historical facts and the details
about the plot, but I like the way he s drawn as an aloof
"dirty hero" who carries out his ideal of "Kill. Evil.
Instantly;" he’s never a simple good guy and always
antagonistic to Kenshin and the others.

"Other than the above I had no real design. Since he was


introduced in the beginning as a bad guy, I gave him a
villain s face, but I got protest letters about this too. It
seems the fans of the Shinsengumi think of him as a gentle,
handsome man, even though there isn t a single photograph
left of him, so . . . (There is a portrait, though. It s
there, but those who want to think of Saitou as handsome
probably shouldn t look at it.) I also got letters saying,
"What s Saitou doing selling the Hijikata family s Ishida
Sanyaku?!" To put it simply, that was just a joke. And to
those who protested that Akamatsu was nothing more than a
bad joke, I am very repentant.
48.

But getting so many letters about such little things


actually makes me very sad. I m a manga artist and only
human. Shinsengumi fans, Can t you read this manga a little
more forgivingly . . ."

*The Gatotsu isn t a real technique. Saitou Hajime s special


technique was the left-handed one-sword stab, but I changed
it around for a boy s magazine to be the Gatotsu. But the
Shinsengumi s specialty, the Hiratsuki, is real.

source http://www.maigo-chan.org/rk7_55.htm

Saitou Hajime’s Past

Saitou Hajime (Captain of the Shinsengumi 3rd Troop)

Saitou Hajime seems to have struck second fame in Japan


following his appearance in RK! There are certainly a lot of
info about him on the web. Seems to be a mysterious guy even
in real life... Also, everything about him that came out in
RK (except Shishio and Kenshin, of course) is real history.
I got a shock there!

Right. First of all, his origins seems a bit obscure. One


theory is that he’s the son of a ronin. Another says he
hailed from Edo, son of a Bakufu official, and that he’d
come to Kyoto after accidentally killing a person in Edo.
Yet another claims that he’s a son of the 12th Shogun?! and
yet another says that he was a spy of the Aizu han placed in
the early Roshitai. Talk about a mystery guy. His name,
Hajime (meaning "one" or "start" as in another kanji") was
because that he was born on the 1st day of the 1st month,
though there are other reports as to his birthday.

He entered the Shinsengumi "sponsored" by the Aizu han,


under the name of Yamaguchi Jirou, when he served as one of
Hijikata’s assistants. His most powerful sword skill is the
"Left-hand single thrust" (but *not* Gatotsu, that’s
Watsuki-san’s creation), this skill is even more destructive
than Okita’s 3-piece thrust! In fact, Saitou, together with
Okita and Nagakura, were hailed as the 3 strongest swordsman
of the Shinsengumi. Saitou assassinated a lot of corrupted
Shinsengumi members. Eg, Itou Kashitarou and co., Takeda
Kanryuusai and others. And yeah, Aku.Zoku.San was no
invention of Watsuki - it was a motto of the whole Shinsengumi!

He was also a great drinker! The creator of one Shinsengumi


website stated that "he’s a different person when drunk",
(I’m not sure whether this refers to "I desire to kill once
I’m drunk"). In fact, he finally passed away because of a
stomach ulcer, caused by excessive drinking. Unfortunately,
I still can’t verify that he smokes all the time, or that
his favorite food is soba... help, anyone?
49.

Saitou’s wife, Takagi Tokio, was the daughter of an


important Aizu official - in fact,the middle-man was none
other than the Daimyo of Aizu himself! They (Saitou and
Takagi Tokio) were married in the 6th year of Meiji (1873),
and their first son, Tsutomu was born in the 9th year
(1876).After the Ishin government was formed, he changed his
name and worked as a kendo instructor in a university. In
1877, the 10th year of Meiji, he joined the police troop
with permission of carrying a sword to fight in the Seinan
War, the one where Saigo Takamori rebelled against the Meiji
government in Satsuma. Saitou did this under the name of
Fujita Gorou. After which he became a spy

directly responsible to the Police Commissioner, Kawaji


Toshiyoshi. (I was really shocked at this one... Watsuki can
really interweave fact and fiction!)

Saitou worked as a guard of a museum in Tokyo when he was


quite a senior citizen.After his retirement, he seemed to
spend a lot of time thinking. Pity I can’t understand his
grandchild’s remarks in the Japanese homepage. Anyway,
Saitou passed away on 27/9/1915, 4th year of Taisho, at the
ripe old age of 72.

source http://www.animedat.com/Kenshin/Kenchar.html

The Character Saitou Hajime or Fujita Gorou

A man of many skills, Saitou Hajime is not someone to take


lightly. Originally of the Shinsengumi group, he later
became a government agent. He posed as a medicine peddler
when searching for Kenshin at the Kamiya Dojo. Going by
several names, he calls himself Fujita Gorou. Also known as
Mibu’s wolf, his reputation as a cunning and merciless man
proceed him in most situations.

Hajime was another rival of Kenshin’s back when he was an


assassin. He is the leader of the 3rd squad of the
Shinsengumi. He’s sword technique is the Gatotsu. He is now
a police officer.

Name: Saitou Hajime


Height: 183cm Weight: 71kg
Born: 1844
Birthdate: Sometime in January
Birthplace: Tokyo
Zodiac: Capricorn
Bloodtype: O type
Equipment: Japanese Sword (Sword of Mumei)
Current Style: Mizoguchi haittouryuu

source http://www.maison-otaku.net/~nuriko/saitou.htm
50.

[Technique List]

This section will try to cover the various techniques that


are used within the styles of RUROUNI KENSHIN. Special
thanks must be given to KENSHIN-GUMI (
http://www.studiounmei.com/kenshin/ ) for helping us out.

HITEN MITSURUGI RYUU

Do Ryuu Sen (Ground Dragon Flash):

Used by raising the sword up, then immediately bringing it


towards the earth, striking the blade with immense force
against the ground, the force of the strike will cause the
ground to explode at the opponent, sending a shower of rocks
towards them.

Ryuu Sou Sen (Double Lair Flash):

While performing this technique, Kaoru noted that Kenshin’s


sakabatou seemed to fly. The Ryuu Sou Sen consists of
extremely fast, repeated blows towards an opponent. It’s
mainly used for those who won’t be taken out with simply one
hit.

Ryuu Sou Sen Garami:

A different version of the Ruyu Sou Sen, in which the blows


are directed at the neck. the ’Garami’ kanji at the end of
the skill simply means ’to attack at the head.’

Ryuu Kan Sen (Dragon Wind up Flash):

Utilized when Kenshin is beside the opponent, he then turns,


delivering a backhanded swing at the opponent, usually
towards their neck. The Ryuu Kan Sen is a move best used as
a counter-attack, rather than an initial move.

Ryuu Kan Sen Kogarashi:

The easiest way to describe this technique is that it is a


more powerful version of the Ryuu Kan Sen.

Ryuu Kan Sen Tsumuji (Dragon windup flash hair spin):

Another enhanced version of the Ryuu Kan Sen, the tsumuji


begins with an extremely fast lunge towards an opponent,
then using the force of the body turning to hit them in the
neck. The speed from this attack can make landing difficult
however.

Ryuu Tsui Sen (Dragon Mallet Flash):


51.

The Ryuu Tsui Sen is the most frequently used technique in


the series; it begins by leaping up, then descending towards
your opponent, using your weight and force of the landing to
hammer the opponent towards the ground.

Ryuu Tsui Sen Zan (Dragon Mallet Flash Cut):

The more lethal version of the Ryuu Tsui Sen, in which the
blade is poised directly downward so that while descending,
it cuts completely through an adversary.

Ryuu Shou Sen (Rising Dragon Flash):

A rising attack, where Kenshin places his right hand against


the bottom of his blade, holding it horizontally above his
head, then rises straight up, hitting the sword towards the
opponent’s neck.

Ryuu Tsui Shou Sen (Dragon Mallot rising flash):

A combination of the Ryuu Tsui Sen and the Ryuu Shou Sen,
beginning with Kenshin descending downward with the Ryuu
Tsui Sen, then immediately rising back up with the Ryuu Shou
Sen for a double hit attack.

Arashi (Storm):

Another technique Kenshin invented on the spot, during a


fight. He curls himself into a ball, spinning in a complete
circle with his sword extended.

Hi Ryuu Sen (Flying Dragon Flash):

A sprung sword technique, where the user draws the sword out
of the saya (sheath) quickly with the left hand, sending the
sword flying like an arrow, aiming the hilt at a vital point

Sou Ryuu Sen (Paired Dragon Flash):

Another of Kenshin’s battoujutsu techniques. Since the blade


of Kenshin’s sword is reversed, his speed with any
battoujutsu is slower than if he were using a normal katana.
The Sou Ryuu Sen is Kenshin’s way of improvising for the
slower speed of his sakabatou. The technique begins like a
normal battoujutsu; drawing the sword with immense speed
from the saya. When the sword strike is blocked or evaded,
Kenshin uses his saya for a second attack. So the Sou Ryuu
Sen is a two sword Battoujutsu.

Sou Ryuu Sen Ikatsuchi (Paired Dragon Thunder Flash):

A different version of the Sou Ryuu Sen taught to Kenshin by


Hiko before the succession techniques.
52.

Unlike the normal Sou Ryuu Sen, this technique is initiated


by attacking with the saya first, instead of the sword.
Afterwards, the user would trap the other’s sword with the
saya, and finish the attack with his own sword.

Kuzu Ryuu Sen (9 headed dragon flash):

"The types of attacks in kenjutsu--first, the Karatake


(downward stroke), Kesagiri, the slantwise downward stroke
to the shoulder, reverse Kesagiri, right Nagi (belly
stroke), left Nagi (reverse belly stroke), right upward cut,
left upward cut, and the Sakakaze, upward stroke. Finally,
the stroke that pierces at the shortest range to the chest,
the Tsuki. In all the schools there is no killing technique
that does not aim for one of those nine points. Naturally,
the stancesof defense were developed to correspond to these
same nine points. But If you move with the godlike speed of
the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu and strike at all nine points at
once, there is no possibility of defense." -Hiko Seijuurou

The Kuzu Ryuu Sen is the second most powerful technique of


the Hiten Mitsurugi Ryuu, which strikes all 9 vital points
at one time. As Hiko stated, there is no way to defend
oneself against this technique. This move was only countered
against once, by Seta Soujirou, who moved faster than the
speed of the Kuzu Ryuu Sen, and landed in a slash on
Kenshin’s back.

Amakakeru Ryuu no Hirameki (Heaven’s Soaring Dragon Flash):

The Amakakeru Ryuu no Hirameki is the most powerful


technique of the Hiten Mitsurugi School. Normally, when
using battoujutsu, one places the right leg in front of the
left leg, however, as noted by Soujirou, at the last moment
before the attack, Kenshin put his left leg in front of his
right leg before drawing his sword. This technique is most
likely the one flawless technique of the Hiten Mitsurugi
Ryuu. If by any chance the initial blow is blocked, the air
is displaced by the power and impact of the first, blocked
blow, shattering the air around the opponent and drawing the
opponent in. The second blow uses the pent up force from the
first to accelerate the blow, thus hitting them with a more
powerful hit the second time around.

Ryuu Mei Sen

Only used once in the entire series, and only in the manga,
the Ryuu Mei Sen is a godspeed noutoujutsu (sword-sheathing
techniques; the opposite of a battoujutsu). Whereas all
other attacks represent the fangs or claws of a dragon, the
Ryuu Mei Sen represents the scream of a dragon. The high-
pitched sound of the sheath’s reverberations strike the
opponent’s heightened senses and paralyze them.
53.

MIZOGUCHI HIITOU RYUU

Gatotsu (Mizoguchi Hiitou Ryuu) is the specialty of Saitou


Hajime in the Rurouni Kenshin series. Gatotsu wasn’t used by
the real Saitou Hajime in history, his specialty was a left
handed sword thrust, but Watsuki decided to change it around
for a boy’s manga. But the Hiratsuki strike, the specialty
of the Shinsengumi, WAS a real technique. Well, enough on
the historical references, now to get into detail about
Saitou’s fighting style. The Gatotsu stance itself is done
by holding the blade by the hilt in the left hand, and
poising the right hand above the kisaki (tip) of the blade
(Kind of like a pool stick.) Then lead off with the right
foot. It’s a refined stabbing technique, and has different
forms of the technique for different situations, which are
as follows:

Gatotsu Ishiki (Gatotsu First Stance): A straight forward


attack, the neck, chest, shoulder, and head are the usual
targets.

Gatotsu Nishiki (Gatotsu Second Stance): Used from the air


to the ground, cutting diagonally from above.

Gatotsu Sanshiki (Gatotsu Third Stance): Anti-air move, used


from ground to air, meant to intercept the opponent from above.

Gatotsu Zeroshiki (Gatotsu Zero Stance): Gatotsu done at a


point blank range, requiring no running start or visible leg
power. Very powerful, managed to split Usui into two
different pieces. (In the manga, in the televised series he
was only pinned to the wall by it.)

WATOUJUTSU

Watoujutsu literally means ’Ancient Japanese Sword Skill’.


It is a chinese styled kenjutsu used by Enishi in the manga
series. It is a style of Kenjutsu which mixes the speed and
slashing style of a nihontou, with the flexible movements
and strength techniques that are typical of chinese sword
arts. Enishi’s weapon in the manga is a mix between a
nihontou (japanese sword) and a chinese sword. The hilt
design is ornate like a chinese sword, and the blade is
longer than a nihontou, but unlike a chinese sword, it has
more curvature. Overall, his blade can be mainly classified
as a tachi, the extremely long blade used before the Sengoku
era.

Shuugeki Tou Sei: The technique begins with the tachi


positioned so that the tip is pointed at the ground.
54.

Afterwards the weapon is swung upwards, followed by a


powerful kick to the reverse side of the blade. The kick
itself serves to greatly amplify the force and speed behind
what would be an a relatively slow and moderately powered
swing. The power of this attack is enough to easily shatter
the trunk of a tree, as shown by Enishi in one of the later
manga.

Kaishi Tou Sei: A counter technique that begins with Enishi


hammering the bottom of his tachi’s hilt against the blade
of his opponent’s sword to stop an oncoming attack, and then
pivoting on one foot to send a swift thrust to the chest of
his adversary.

Shou Ha Tou Sei: This technique is similar to the Shuugeki


Tou Sei in the manner that an extra hit is used to increase
the power behind the strike. Enishi starts the technique by
bringing the blade over his head while bringing his left
hand up, then he smacks his left hand against the blunt edge
of the blade, proceeding to bring the blade forward once
more in an almost whip-like manner.

Chou Ten Tou Sei: An anti-air technique used as a follow-up


in the event that the shou ha tousei misses. The Chou Ten
Tou Sei begins with the tachi stuck in the ground, afterwards
Enishi uses the bottom of the hilt as a stepping stone, and
then leaps to the air while pulling the tachi itself from
the ground by the cord attached to the hilt. Enishi then
drags his weapon upwards using the cord, while using his
other his other hand against the tsuba (sword guard) of his
weapon, forcing the flat of the blade into his opponent’s
stomach.

Sen Ran Tou Sei: This technique begins with Enishi poised in
a crouch, left leg bent inward, right leg extended, and both
arms drawn, tachi held upward at a diagonal angle. The skill
itself is initiated by Enishi spinning around repeatedly on
his left foot to gain momentum for his attack, afterwards he
begins to spin around towards his opponent, blade extended,
with a destructive force similar to a tornado.

Shikkuu Tou Sei: An attack used while airborne, the Shikkuu


Tou Sei is one of Enishi’s simpler techniques. The tachi is
held behind Enishi and then swung in a powerful, overhand
arc with one hand towards his adversary.

Gou Tsui Tou Sei: This technique begins as a powerful thrust


at an opponent’s midsection or chest. When the stab
connects, the blade is then held vertically while the person
remains on it, then swung forward to throw them forcefully
from the blade. In the manga, Kenshin stopped himself from
being impaled by using his arm to take the brunt of the stab.
55.

Zetsugi: Ko Fuku Zetsu Tousei: Enishi’s strongest attack,


which begins with him holding his tachi with the hilt facing
down, and the blunt end of the blade held parallel to the
back of his arm. Afterwards he sinks into a stance similar
to that of the Sen Ran Tou Sei, similar to that of a tiger
poised and ready for an attack (hence the name). Instead of
spinning like the Sen Ran Tou Sei, the attack itself is an
extremely swift lunge, upon which Enishi rises and brings
his tachi fiercely along his opponent’s upper body.

Note: A rough translation for zetsugi is "Ultimate


Attack/Unparalleled Attack". In essence, it is equivalent to
an ’ougi’, being the strongest attack of Enishi’s style of
kenjutsu.

TENBU NO SAI NIYORU KEN

Shukuchi (Reduced Earth): The Shikuchi is a body technique


in which the user springs from their initial speed directly
into their top speed within an instant, through immense
strength of the legs, penetrating the range of the opponent
in an instant. To any ordinary person, it would look like
the distance between the two fighters has shrunk. Hence the
name, "Reduced Earth." During his fight with Kenshin,
Soujirou continually states he’s only moving "three steps
below Shukuchi" or "two steps below shukuchi." While moving
at this speed, the only thing that could be seen was
Soujirou’s footsteps ripping through the tatami mat. While
doing the true Shukuchi, Soujirou simply cannot be seen,
even by Kenshin.

Shun Ten Satsu (Instant Heaven Murder): Soujirou’s other


named technique, named so because the speed behind the
attack is so swift that "there isn’t an instant even to feel
the pain." The Shun Ten Satsu is simply Soujirou combining
battoujutsu with the true Shukuchi. The speed behind the
Shun Ten Satsu completely equals to that of Kenshin’s
Amakakeru Ryu no Hirameki. In terms of power however, it is
slightly weaker than the Hiten Mitsurugi ougi.

SATSU JIN KEN

Mugenjin: Mugenjin isn’t the name of a technique, it’s the


name of the sword Shishio uses. This blade appears normal
when you first look at it, however, on closer inspection,
you notice that the edge is jagged with tiny teeth, much
like the blade of a saw. This jagged edge is the key to most
of Shishio’s hiken.
56.

I no hiken - Homura dama: The first of Shishio’s hiken, the


Homura dama is a constant flame surrounding Shishio’s sword.
The secret behind this technique comes from all the people
Shishio has killed. The oils and fats from human bodies
collected on Shishio’s blade over time. So by dragging the
katana against the ground, or creating the right amount of
friction, the spark will generate the flames around his blade.

Ni no hiken - Guren Kaina: The black gloves Shishio wears


were soaked in gunpowder. The Guren Kaina also uses the
homura dama in the attack. First Shishio gets a hold on the
opponent. Afterwards, he scratches the jagged edge of his
sword along his glove, igniting the homura dama, and causing
the flames to react with the gunpowder, triggering an
explosion.

Tsui no hiken - Kaguzuchi: Shishio’s final and most powerful


technique, which unfortunately, never connected with anyone
in the series. The kaguzuchi is initiated by Shishio hitting
his saya towards the bottom of Mugenjin’s blade, creating a
swirl of flames, and eventually, a massive flaming tornado.

SAIKI KANUMA RYU KENJUTSU

Saiki Kanuma Ryu Kenjutsu is a swordfighting style which


uses both the sword and sheath in it’s combat techniques.
This style which is used only by Shigure Takimi in the
Rurouni Kenshin Movie - Ishinshishi no Requiem, is a quite
versatile fighting style in which the practitioner can both
defend and attack in an instant or fake out an opponent.
When getting in the inital stance, the sheath is led out and
tied to the left hand by the sageo (scabbard cord) while the
sword is held in the right hand. One interesting note is
that the saya (sheath) is covered with metal instead of
being only wood, so that attacks can also be made with the
saya.

Kanuma Shougetsu Ken (Hidden Moon’s Sword): Used with both


sword and saya (sheath. With the saya held in the left hand
the user holds the saya out in a Chudan (middle position) as
a distraction, while his sword is held down and to the back,
concealing the blade from the opponent. From this technique
stance, the user can make an attack from below, above, or
from either side with his blade. If the attack with the
blade is blocked, a counter attack can be made with the saya.

Kanuma Shouyo Ken (Hidden Sun’s Sword): Shouyo Ken is a


technique that’s a double strike in a horizontal circular
motion. This attack is executed by striking first with the
saya.
57.

If the opponent blocks the attack the user then traps the
opponents sword and attacks with his own. (This attack is
similar to the Soryusen Ikazuchi technique in Hiten
Mitsurugi Ryu).

Shouyo Ken #2: The variation of Shouyo Ken is if the


opponent evades the first strike with the saya. When this
occurs the user would then launch the saya out of his left
hand at the opponent, usually aiming for a weak spot or a
previous wound. After attacking, the saya is retrieved by
pulling back on the cord attached from the users left hand
to the saya. This attack inceases the combative range of the
user by at since the saya can be launched out further than
the length of a sword.

Kanuma Shouen Ken (Hidden Flame’s Sword): In this technique


the user strikes the ground with saya and scrapes the ground
in a circular motion, igniting anything on the ground, i.e.
leaves. This causes a wall of flame which confuses the
opponent as to where an attack will come from. From this
point the user then dashes in with their sword extended out
aiming for a stab instead of a cut.

Hiken Soutou Ken (Secret Paired Flying Sword): This


technique is basically an anti-air movement in which the
user drops the saya and unsheathes the wakizashi (short
sword) with the left hand and leaps up to intercept the
opponent. Before the opponent comes within range the user
crosses the swords in front of their body for either a
scissors attack or to catch the opponent’s sword in the
cross of their two swords.

KODACHI NITOU RYUU

Kodachi Nitou Ryuu (Double Kodachi school) Is the name of


the fighting technique used by Shinomori Aoshi. During his
first appearance in the RK series, Aoshi used only one
kodachi, combined with his kempo skills to fight an opponent.
However, during Kenshin’s fight against Aoshi, the secret
and weaknesses behind Aoshi’s technique are unveiled. At
close range, an opponent with a longer sword has a blind
spot due to the long reach. Aoshi would then trap the sword
with his kodachi using the blind spot, and attack with his
fists, but whenever Aoshi attacked with his kodachi, the
blind spot was naturally eliminated. It is only at the
beginning of the Kyoto saga when Aoshi begins to utilize his
two kodachi fighting style.

Ososugi de Ugoki: A technique where Aoshi moves around his


opponent at varying speeds, making multiple images of
himself, and making it even harder for the opponent to
distinguish which is the real Aoshi, and which is the fake.
58.

Kaiten Kenbu (Revolving Sword Dance): The technique Aoshi


usually uses after disorienting the opponent with the ryusui
no ugoki. He closes in on the confused opponent, and spins
around three times, giving his opponent three slashes to the
chest.

Kaiten Kenbu Rokuren (Six revolving sword dances): The move


starts with Aoshi gripping his kodachi backhanded, running
forward, then beginning with his right, or left hand and
slashing six times continuously.

Goku Juuji (Burning cross): A technique which begins with


Aoshi crossing both kodachi at the point, like a pair of
scissors, then rushing forward and directing a stab at the
arteries in his opponent’s neck.

Onmyou Hasshi: A darted sword technique. Both kodachi are


thrown straight at the opponent, however, the second kodachi
is hidden directly behind the first. So the opponent would
only see one kodachi heading for him/her in their line of
sight.

Onmyou Kousa: A counter attack move Aoshi used against Okina.


He blocked Okina’s tonfa with his first kodachi, then
pressed his second kodachi against the blade of the first
kodachi, forcing Okina’s tonfa to break under the pressure
of the two blades.

MISC

These are various techniques that are currently not in any


category at the moment.

Usui’s techniques:

Shin-Gan (Mind’s eye): Usui most noted move. It isn’t magic


of any sort, but an extremely well developed sense of
hearing. He can hear all the movements of the human body,
the heartbeat which betrays their state of mind, the
expansion and contraction of muscles, which allow him to
know how they plan to attack.

Pouken pougyoku hyakka ryouran: A technique where Usui


attacks with multiple slashes from his spear, and repeated
thrusts from the iron base of the spear.

[Thanks & Contact]

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and made it the way it is today.
59.

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